How can soft skills coaching help lawyers and accountants grow their practice?

Whether you are a solicitor, barrister, patent or trade mark attorney, accountant, tax adviser or architect, your technical skills alone are not enough.  Sometimes they need soft skills coaching to grow their practice.

Coaching breeds confidence and confidence is essential to successful business development.

Confidence will give help you develop the commercial acumen and communication skills you’ll need to protect your existing client relationships, attract profitable new business and market yourself alongside your professional contacts.

You probably routinely attend the occasional group training events as part of your CPD but this isn’t necessarily enough to get where you need to get to, particularly in respect to your business targets and desired career progression.

This is where coaching and mentoring will help.

Here are 5 reasons why mentoring and coaching will help you to build your non-technical skills:

1. Soft skills coaching will build your confidence

Over the years Tenandahalf has run 1on1 programmes, confidence (or, more specifically, a lack of it) is what stops fee earners making progress.  1on1s provide a safe environment in which they can build up their confidence at their own pace and in their own way.

2. Soft skills coaching will save you time and energy

The single biggest excuse fee earners given when they’re asked what’s stopping them doing BD is time.  The reality is that much of the time they do spend is wasted on BD activities that simply aren’t productive, for example going to the same old events or jumping in and out of different initiatives.

An experienced trainer or mentor will help a fee earner make better choices so, even with limited time available, success can be achieved.

3. You will progress faster in your career

A key requirement of being a partner or director in any firm is to be able to bring in work.  Coaching and mentoring programmes will give you the new skills and the tools you need to make this easier.

And where there is a performance management issue or where progress has hit a buffer, 1on1s can help a fee earner get back on track with some new ideas and renewed confidence.

4. It will help your mental health

Having a sounding board outside the practice and away from the judgement of your line manager can reduce stress.

In the course of the 1on1s I’ve run I’ve come across all sorts of things, alcoholism, anxiety and, most commonly, imposter syndrome, issues that would have remained compartmentalised and ignored if they hadn’t been allowed to surface in confidence during a 1on1 session.

5. You will find your own voice

Success (internally and externally) requires more than competence in BD.  It also required you to develop your own voice so you can attract likeminded clients and opportunities.

In 1on1s an experienced coach will match an individual’s interests, skills and preferences to the activities and areas that suite them best so the mentee can carve out their own niche in what is an increasingly crowded market.

If you would like to find out more about the BD coaching services we offer lawyers, accountants, patent and trade attorneys and barristers please get in touch and we can find a convenient time to talk.

Published by sizetenandahalfboots

Douglas is a director of Size 10½ Boots, a specialist business development agency that works solely with the professional services, helping firms grow by winning more new clients and more work from the clients they already have. Although every project is different our work generally falls into one of three camps - strategic marketing support, BD training and 1on1 coaching and independent client research.

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