Time Stamped Show Notes:
16s: We have a lawyer and friend of mine today, Ann Page. You taught me a management stage 2 course when I was setting up my law firm and I’ve never looked back! You’ve also come on board as one of the coaches with Truth Recruit which I’m delighted about.
46s: Tell us about your background. I trained in house with City Bank and spent nearly 30 years as an in-house lawyer. I learnt about business in the banking field. I have been privileged since 2003 to train nearly 7000 lawyers in terms of leadership, management, business, interpersonal skills. So, hopefully I can answer any question they throw at me.
1mins 31s: If you were an in-house lawyer, what do you bring to the party that a private practice lawyer wouldn’t? One of the major differences is that your client sits next door and you are both working towards a common goal like the development of the business or ensuring that you are regulatory compliant. It’s much more collegiate. If you are doing your job right, you understand the politics, the financial figures, and all the key players of your organisation.
2mins 27s: You were at the co-op as well? I was head of legal for the Co-op Bank in 2003. I had 13 and a half years there and had a fabulous team. The year that I left, I was recognised as a top 100 lawyer. I had a 100% client satisfaction rating so probably a good idea to quit whilst I was ahead. Yes – the Manchester City captain has just something similar!
3mins 18s: An in-house lawyer is probably more business-savvy. They have to understand budgeting too, you have to give the business as much certainty as you can. Can private lawyers (like me) learn anything from the in-house lawyer world? It depends which are you are in; if it’s employment, understanding employment challenges makes you more empathic and understanding. If you are in personal injury, it’s a totally different world. If you’re running the business, looking at how industry does it and taking out what will work for you. We see lots of people using social media but that and PI don’t necessarily go together.
5mins 0s: You’ve trained 7000 lawyers, how can coaching help lawyers? In the real world, you have to manage staff without any training. You have to communicate with clients without understanding the impact of your communication. You have to run a department or lead a business with no training. Even when you’ve had training, you come back and you find everybody’s not read the script. Coaching is the bridge between training and the real world. It takes what you know, expands it, and helps you embed change. We can forget to listen to our staff.
7mins 9s: Often, you have the worst managers who are the best billers. They are charged with mentoring people below them. In industry, they tend to have programs that develop the staff not just for today but for the future. It’s looking at your skillset, both technical and human. Developing your human side is building a network. Of the interviews I’ve done for my next book, networking and building interpersonal skills is essential for lawyers.
9mins 2s: Can you give us examples of people who have developed from using your services? Say you are looking to take your legal offer to the next level, where do you start? We have two strategies; we go out to the market and see what people need or we take our skills out to the market and try to sell them. There is something about guiding two business owners about how to do things and put systems into place. They’re looking at product development, how it will look on their website, how they will sell it. In management, it’s conflict resolution. There are two things in that; one is how you’re feeling about either watching it unfold or being the recipient of it. It’s about getting you centred and in a resourceful place to be able to deal with it and lead them into a resourceful place. Or, make the difficult decision that that behaviour is so out of place that it isn’t acceptable anymore. You can tackle that as a team or one on one. It can be about how to set boundaries. You might not be able to go to the pub with them every Friday night but maybe you can go for the first half an hour, and gradually reduce it. It becomes clear that you are going because you care about your team but not as their mate.
11mins 58s: When you’re coaching a lawyer, how often would you see of speak to them? It varies. I have packages. If it’s a business package, we will have business goals that we will set up that might include training and coaching. It may be once every fortnight we will spend a block of time together to achieve the goal. If it’s coaching, it tends to be on an hour basis. It can be for many things, one client wanted it for self-confidence and another who wanted to go from good to great. Given the age I am, I don’t want to be set in a specific framework. I would rather customise my advice and guidance for them.
14mins 57s: One of the things that people ask me is how do I find a coach. To know if this coach will help you or not – do you want a coach that has industry information, an internal coach within the organisation, a coach who has nothing to do with the industry. The process is that we will have coffee and cake with you to help you assess what it is that you’re trying to achieve. Your success is paramount. Is it self-confidence in terms of presentations; in terms of clients; how do you handle that? The clearer you can be about what you are trying to achieve, the easier it is.
16mins 39s: Who pays for your services? Is it ok for a lawyer to go to their boss and say, “can you spend this amount of money on this?”. When you look at their training budgets, it isn’t much and we don’t charge London prices; we’re charging Yorkshire prices. Businesses like yourself, generally pay for it.
18mins 18s: What is the cost of using your services? There has to be some kind of conversation and meeting and one of the things I’m assessing is how much they want this. I want to work with people who want to achieve goals, change, and embed the training that they’ve learnt. If it’s a one-off situation, it costs £150 per hour. The offer on a general package is you buy 4 and get the 5th one free. I do various themed business packages which range from £750-£1900. It just depends because it may include training and coaching sessions. Where someone is setting up on their own or revamping their business, we will start with a strategy session to come out with an action plan. It is bespoke.
21mins 4s: Your face is all over our website but other than that, where can people find you to contact you? If you want to see me, go on the website www.yorkshirecoursesforlawyers.co.uk and if you have 3 minutes spare time, we have a show reel of me presenting. We also have blogs you can look at there. I’m also on LinkedIn.