Tag Archives: mentorship

Why Young Associates Need Mentorship & How To Develop A Program

Young associates need a lot of guidance. Whether it’s tempering an overzealous associate or instilling confidence in a quiet one, law firm managers will need to develop a mentoring relationship with their first- and second-year associates to teach best practices and behaviors.

Take, for example, meeting with the client for the first time. You’d be surprised what a young associate doesn’t know.

Rule #1: Dress appropriately.

New clients may stop by the office at any time. Associates don’t want to be caught in casual Friday attire when an important CEO is considering switching firms. Make sure your associates understand the difference between business casual and just, well, casual.

Create a clear policy regarding dress. Sometimes the transition from law student to legal professional is a rumpled one.

Rule #2: Be on time.

Punctuality is a must when filing legal briefs or showing up to court. Law firm partners would not likely accept a first-year associate being late to a meeting. So, the everyday environment of a law office should not be any different.

Communicate to your younger associates the expectations for timeliness of the firm. If the managing partners show up around 9:30 each morning, then everybody else should be working by 9:00. It’s an unspoken rule that whomever shows up ready to work first gets the best assignments (and the worm). Those who aren’t around to answer the phone may find their value to the firm is forgotten rather quickly.

Rule #3: Be prepared.

If ten-year-old boy scouts are always prepared, so you should be. Whatever the situation, young associates should start to get in the habit of doing due diligence. Meeting with senior partners or simply office vendors requires lawyers to bring a clear agenda and always deliver results for the firm.

Rule #4: Focus.

“Unfortunately, your office is a trap with all types of distractions,” writes Rebeca Mosquera in “Ten Tips to a Successful First Client Meeting” for the American Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division.

Among some of the above rules, Mosquera hopes to impart tips she developed early on in her career for having a successful first meeting with clients.

“When you meet with the client for the first time (or any time) you need to be engaged and focused. If you have the meeting in your office you will hear or see emails pop up on your screen, your phone might ring one or several times, people will sneak their heads in to tell you that you have another meeting in fifteen minutes. You don’t want that and the client will get the impression he or she is not your top priority.”

Fortunately, Mosquera’s advice holds true for training young associates, as much as client meetings. More experienced lawyers should always remind young associates to stay focused on a single, billable activity. Whether it’s meeting with a client or even working on a case, keep distractions—like personal calls or emails—to a minimum. Try working in 15-20 minute uninterupted increments before checking work email. You will work more efficiently and make fewer mistakes when you’re 100% dedicated to the task at hand. 

So turn off that cell phone and turn on that mentorship program at your firm. Your program should address:

  • Methods to manage mentor expectations/requirements for mentee’s professional development (taking associates to meet clients, attend bar association meetings, etc.)
  • Developing a culture of mentorship where the firm recognizes and rewards mentors
  • Why a first day introduction is not enough
  • How to establish better mentor-mentee pairs
  • Ways to build mentoring into the lawyer professional development process
  • Best practices for setting and adhering to mutually appropriate, time-commitments for mentoring
  • Best practices for facilitating open communication between mentor and mentee
  • How to assess your program, get “honest” feedback from associates 

If you don’t already know how to put this type of program in place, look to the Center For Competitive Management’s audio conference on Thursday, July 9, 2015, from 2PM to 3:15PM EST (here).

The course, “Mentoring More Than a Handshake: Integrating Legal Mentoring With Law Practice Management,” will explain why many formal mentoring programs fail to work as advertised, but how your firm can restructure programs to get it working again.

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Why Two NY Fugitives Are On The Loose & How To Avoid The Blame Game Through Mentorship At Your Law Firm

All eyes in New York State are furtively glancing behind them, after two murders escaped an upstate prison.

And while authorities are conducting a thorough and widespread manhunt for Richard Matt and David Sweat, there appears to be just one good lead—the woman who allegedly helped the two fugitives escape (read more at CNN).

Joyce Mitchell, a prison employee, sits (rather ironically) in jail, accused of assisting two felons to flee; but the real question should be, how could one employee be a weak enough chink in the chain for two prisoners to break free?

It’s unclear at this point who and how many will be held accountable. What is clear, however, is that authorities have yet to locate the escapees after ten long days. Where did all go wrong—with the felons, prison employee, prison authorities, or just the authorities?

At law firms, partners are always complaining about the level of effort and sense of accountability of their young associates. Google a few phrases like “What Drives Partners Nuts,” or “4 Ways Associates Screw Up” and you’ll find myriad articles, old and new, addressing the subject.

Yes, there are also articles about “how partners screw up,” or “how secretaries screw up,” but those columns always address one faction of people, as opposed to targeting team failures.

At a law firm, people work as a team. If the hierarchy works correctly, a strict power structure and job description divvies out roles and responsibilities, as well as names the people in charge to enforce them.

No single person should be in a position to bring down the practice.

This is why associate reporting schemes are devised and mentorship programs enacted.

So, let’s say, for example, your majoir complain as a partner is that “associates don’t fret the details.

“Asked to look at an issue, associates don’t read all of the cases, so we get blind-sided by a horrifying case that our opponent cites in an opposition brief. Or associates don’t read the whole case, so we cite a snippet from footnote 3 that sounds good, and our opponent notes that the actual holding of the case is that we should lose. Or associates don’t read the whole deposition transcript, or contract, or whatever,” writes Mark Herrmann for Above The Law blog.

How can you fix it?

First, explain to associates what you expect. Even if it seems belittling, for young associates, it’s important to outline your expectations. When you ask them to write a draft, explain that you expect it to be flawless (or, don’t call it a draft at all).

When you ask an associate to look at an issue, tell them to also prepare a summary of every case that they cite. Better yet, tell them the law firm name partners will expect a short verbal summary of every case cited in the brief. You will probably stop getting blind-sided by case details an associate didn’t bother to read.

Think associates, “blow stuff off”? Create incentives for them to get work done. A reward system or bonus system that is linked to deadlines may increase productivity.

Think this is babying your associates? Well, the habits you instill in your first-years from day one will stick with them for their entire tenure at your firm. The amount of time and mentorship you invest now is exactly what you get back later.

Learn more about establishing formal mentorship programs on the Center For Competitive Management’s audio course, “Mentoring More Than a Handshake: Integrating Legal Mentoring With Law Practice Management,” Thursday, July 9, 2015 at 2:00 PM To 3:15 PM Eastern.

In this audio conference, expert faculty will give you real-life advice on how to improve the structure of your existing mentoring program, including:

  • Methods to manage mentor expectations/requirements for mentee’s professional development (take associates to meet clients, attend bar association meetings, etc.)
  • How to develop a culture of mentorship where the firm recognizes and rewards mentors
  • Why a first day introduction is not enough
  • How to establish better mentor-mentee pairs
  • Ways to build mentoring into the lawyer professional development process
  • Best practices for setting and adhering to mutually appropriate, time-commitments for mentoring
  • Best practices for facilitating open communication between mentor and mentee
  • How to assess your program, get “honest” feedback from associates

Because enough with the blame game. We all make mistakes. Create a law firm culture that is equally invested in law firm success and tangible results, from the ground up.

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Luddite Lawyers: What Vital Skills Your Firm Can Learn From Its Younger Associates

Lawyers aren’t luddites. At least, the upcoming generation of lawyers won’t be.

Thanks to technology-savvy law school professors like Bonnie Kipp, law school graduates will forevermore understand the importance of technology in the courtroom and in cases.

Nicole Black for Above The Law (ATL) blog describes, “Today’s Tech: How An Adjunct Professor Teaches Law Students Trial Technology.” In this article, Black introduces Bonnie Kipp, an adjunct professor at Michigan State University and judicial assistant for Judge McKeague in the United States Court of Appeals. Professor Kipp teaches “Technology Enhanced Trial Advocacy” and similar courses since 2005 after becoming a certified trainer on electronic evidence presentation software.

“I began teaching law students how to use trial technology after watching attorneys struggle with the technology. Our courtroom was one of the first to be wired for technology presentation and when the judge began to require lawyers to use it, I realized how difficult it was for many of them. I wanted to simplify the learning curve, so I started teaching law students how to use these tools,” said Professor Kipp to ATL.

A struggle to which your firm—particularly among its more “experienced” lawyers—can certainly relate.

“I teach students how to use Trial Director which is electronic evidence presentation software operated from a laptop, and which also includes a free corresponding iPad app. Recently I began to teach the students how to use other iPad apps, some of which are created specifically for trial presentation, while others have more general applications. Apps taught include Keynote, Timeline 3D, TrialPad, JuryTracker, iJuror, Dragon Dictation, Evernote, and WestlawNext. I also teach TD Notebook, which is a cloud-based app for case preparation which permits lawyers to work in a collaborative environment to prepare case for trial.”

Don’t recognize any of those app names? Well, you should. Using the iPad for trial presentations is not new. And, neither is software that helps attorneys with case preparation.

Steep learning curve? Maybe not. While experienced attorneys at your may advise younger associates about trial practice, younger associates—fresh out of courses like Kipp’s—have a value-add in their own right. They can help explain the uses for each of the above apps.

Don’t be too proud to accept help from your more technically proficient pair. Mentoring is a two-way street. So, ask a first-year associate how they use some of these digital tools for case management. In turn, you’ll have plenty to impart from your end.

“[Technical] skills absolutely give students an edge over students without this experience. For example, the resumes of many recent law graduates often look alike. But a student who’s been in a trial advocacy program, who has had hands on learning with trial practice, and has learned electronic evidence presentation will definitely stand out,” explains Professor Kipp to ATL.

“In fact, we’ve had students tell us they’ve taken their laptop with them to job interviews to showcase their electronic evidence presentation skills and they’ve felt that it’s helped them get jobs.”

If your firm is hiring, transform the interview into a mock trial presentation. Don’t simply ask a graduate law student about their expertise, let them demonstrate it to you. This same associate may also be able to lead the charge when it comes to in-house training for your other law firm professionals.

The best part about modern technology is the options it provides. There is likely an app best suited to the specific practices and culture of your firm. If not, there are ample app programmers willing to create one for your firm.

Technology can be tailored to your needs, so you just need to lay out an implementation plan. Consult experts if you don’t know where to begin. Make sure there is at least one lawyer-liaison who speaks regularly with your IT Department. In fact, consider assigning one of the younger associates to this position.

Younger associates are anxious for leadership roles. Technology is an arena where young lawyers can thrive, boost your firm’s bottom line, and help improve overall productivity.

Even at an age where they may not be bringing in new business to the firm, younger associates can feel a sense of loyalty and attachment to their firm by taking on a greater role of responsibility.

In the end, technology is not a miracle solution to all law firm inefficiency.

“Certainly whenever you’re working with technology, nothing is set in stone and things don’t always go as planned. But the possibility that technology can fail doesn’t outweigh the benefit of using it. The key is to practice, practice, practice. That way it becomes second nature and doesn’t add to the stress of an already stressful trial,” explains Professor Kipp to ATL.

“And always have a plan B in case technology issues arise. You need a hard copy of exhibits to send back to the jury anyway so if the worst-case scenario happens and the technology goes down you have the hard copies available. So, no matter what, it’s always important to have a plan B.”

The upside to integrating technology in your firm is that your staff—currently proficient in paper—already has a plan B in place.

Don’t know where you firm stands in terms of technical skills? Take C4CM’s audio course, “Suffolk/Flaherty Technology Audit: Is Your Firm Ready?” to help your firm assess individual lawyers skills and training needs at your firm.

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Legal Mentoring Or Mental Coaching? Sports Star Advice About Securing A Successful Mindset In Law Practice

Professional golfers, like most athletes have a team of coaches for every aspect of their game: swing coach, short game coach, strength and conditioning coach. However, one of the most important coaches on the roster might just be the one you’d least expect: the mental coach.

Yet, when PGA pro-golfer Jason day needed to replace his regular caddie in an important tournament, that’s exactly where he looked for help, reports Forbes Contributor Carmine Gallo in his article, “5 Mental Tune-Ups To Deliver the Presentation Of Your Life”.

“When asked how he hits a good shot, Jack Nicklaus once attributed 50 percent of it to having a solid mental picture. Only 10 percent was the swing itself,” continues Gallo.

So who is the mental coach in the practice of law?

Attorneys are rarely alone on the courtroom floor. There’s first chair and second chair to back them up. Which is why it is especially important to recognize the value of mentorship and mental coachmenship in the legal profession.

Here are some qualities from some of world’s greatest coaches of all time that law firm professionals should look for in a workplace mentor:

Be animated when you argue

Whether it’s a presentation pitch to a new client or an opening statement by counsel, you should not be afraid to be animated in your arguments. When you look for a mental coach, look for a person with a great sense of passion for his or her practice.

Slow and steady, Bobby Cox, four-time winner of Manager of the Year, led the Braves to a division title every playable season from 1991 to 2005, and a World Series win in 1995. He also holds the record for most ejections of all time with 158.

“And then you’ll probably have to write a $500 check. Or you can do what I do, write a $10,000 one and tell them when it runs out, let me know,” Cox infamously said.

Have faith in your team and your strategies for moving cases toward a win. Surround yourself with people of similar attitudes.

Take wins graciously

In sports, like law, it’s all about the win. But, for every win there’s sure to be a loss—or at least a setback. Which is why it is important to take all news, good or bad in stride.

A mental coach will respect tenacity, the ability to keep going, rain or shine, win or lose.

“I celebrate a victory when I start walking off the field. By the time I get to the locker room, I’m done,” said the leader of the Nebraska Cornhuskers, Tom Osborne.

Osborne never won fewer than nine games in a season and won national championships in 1994 and 1995, as well as a share of a third in 1997.
He led a powerful ground game and tenacious defense, leaving a legacy and a record of 60–3 over his final five seasons, as the fastest coach in Division I-A history to win 250 games.

Osborne didn’t stop there. He was eventually elected as a member of Congress. Clearly people respected the personality of leader, desired the stick-with-it attitude of a man who wants to get things done, and were looking for a mental coach in their political representation.

Don’t sweat the small things

A mental coach knows that disputes between colleagues or gossiping, for example, can bring down the productivity of a case.

Walter Alston knew that about his team, the Los Angeles Dodgers. He won seven National League pennants in 23 years as the Dodgers Manager. He also knew how to keep his team focused.

“Individual grievances and pet peeves have got to go by the wayside. Generally, you don’t have to worry about the guys who are playing every day, it’s the guys who are sitting on the bench that are the ones that get needles in their pants,” said Alston.

Law firm professionals need mental coaches who have no patience for pettiness.

Don’t hurry, hustle!

Chuck Noll earned respect for his winning and caring nature. Under Noll’s leadership, Joe Gilliam became the league’s first African-American starting quarterback and Franco Harris became the first African American to win the Super Bowl MVP award.

Noll knew how to cultivate talent. He also realized that winning isn’t about rushing through plays, but about the moment when mental preparedness meets action:

“Good things happen to those who hustle.”

Law firm professionals, like professional athletes, have a lot to gain by a well-nurtured mental game.

Take The Center for Competitive Management’s audio course, “Integrating Legal Mentoring With Law Practice Management,” to find out more about how successful firms create a culture in which mentoring and coaching becomes an inclusive process that is fully integrated with how it does business.

Need other inspiration? Read “The 50 Greatest Coaches of All Time.

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Legal Mentoring Or Mental Coaching? Sports Star Advice About Securing A Successful Mindset In Law Practice

Professional golfers, like most athletes have a team of coaches for every aspect of their game: swing coach, short game coach, strength and conditioning coach. However, one of the most important coaches on the roster might just be the one you’d least expect: the mental coach.

Yet, when PGA pro-golfer Jason day needed to replace his regular caddie in an important tournament, that’s exactly where he looked for help, reports Forbes Contributor Carmine Gallo in his article, “5 Mental Tune-Ups To Deliver the Presentation Of Your Life”.

“When asked how he hits a good shot, Jack Nicklaus once attributed 50 percent of it to having a solid mental picture. Only 10 percent was the swing itself,” continues Gallo.

So who is the mental coach in the practice of law?

Attorneys are rarely alone on the courtroom floor. There’s first chair and second chair to back them up. Which is why it is especially important to recognize the value of mentorship and mental coachmenship in the legal profession.

Here are some qualities from some of world’s greatest coaches of all time that law firm professionals should look for in a workplace mentor:

Be animated when you argue

Whether it’s a presentation pitch to a new client or an opening statement by counsel, you should not be afraid to be animated in your arguments. When you look for a mental coach, look for a person with a great sense of passion for his or her practice.

Slow and steady, Bobby Cox, four-time winner of Manager of the Year, led the Braves to a division title every playable season from 1991 to 2005, and a World Series win in 1995. He also holds the record for most ejections of all time with 158.

“And then you’ll probably have to write a $500 check. Or you can do what I do, write a $10,000 one and tell them when it runs out, let me know,” Cox infamously said.

Have faith in your team and your strategies for moving cases toward a win. Surround yourself with people of similar attitudes.

Take wins graciously

In sports, like law, it’s all about the win. But, for every win there’s sure to be a loss—or at least a setback. Which is why it is important to take all news, good or bad in stride.

A mental coach will respect tenacity, the ability to keep going, rain or shine, win or lose.

“I celebrate a victory when I start walking off the field. By the time I get to the locker room, I’m done,” said the leader of the Nebraska Cornhuskers, Tom Osborne.

Osborne never won fewer than nine games in a season and won national championships in 1994 and 1995, as well as a share of a third in 1997.
He led a powerful ground game and tenacious defense, leaving a legacy and a record of 60–3 over his final five seasons, as the fastest coach in Division I-A history to win 250 games.

Osborne didn’t stop there. He was eventually elected as a member of Congress. Clearly people respected the personality of leader, desired the stick-with-it attitude of a man who wants to get things done, and were looking for a mental coach in their political representation.

Don’t sweat the small things

A mental coach knows that disputes between colleagues or gossiping, for example, can bring down the productivity of a case.

Walter Alston knew that about his team, the Los Angeles Dodgers. He won seven National League pennants in 23 years as the Dodgers Manager. He also knew how to keep his team focused.

“Individual grievances and pet peeves have got to go by the wayside. Generally, you don’t have to worry about the guys who are playing every day, it’s the guys who are sitting on the bench that are the ones that get needles in their pants,” said Alston.

Law firm professionals need mental coaches who have no patience for pettiness.

Don’t hurry, hustle!

Chuck Noll earned respect for his winning and caring nature. Under Noll’s leadership, Joe Gilliam became the league’s first African-American starting quarterback and Franco Harris became the first African American to win the Super Bowl MVP award.

Noll knew how to cultivate talent. He also realized that winning isn’t about rushing through plays, but about the moment when mental preparedness meets action:

“Good things happen to those who hustle.”

Law firm professionals, like professional athletes, have a lot to gain by a well-nurtured mental game.

Take The Center for Competitive Management’s audio course, “Integrating Legal Mentoring With Law Practice Management,” to find out more about how successful firms create a culture in which mentoring and coaching becomes an inclusive process that is fully integrated with how it does business.

Need other inspiration? Read “The 50 Greatest Coaches of All Time.

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Five Ways To Be Your Firm’s Next Rising Star

A hot new article on Forbes today is “Five Ways To Be Amazing At Work,” by Steve Siebold, a corporate consultant and author of 177 Mental Toughness Secrets of The World Class.

It’s hard to resist a title like that!

First, we’re told to be obsessed with productivity. Well, on a Friday, it’s easy to be obsessed with productivity. Every wasted minute at work is one less for leisure during the weekend.

But, what can we do specifically at law firms to improve productivity? Set the mood. Shut the door. Play calming music. Set a timer and work in 15-minute increments to keep totally focused.

Productivity is often about time management. Allocate a certain amount of time to a task and then disconnect. Unplug the phone and put “do not disturb” on your office door. The fewer interruptions the better the creative flow.

The second step to being amazing at work is to solve problems says Siehold.

This is an easy one. At work, keep a running tally of problems at the firm and within case matters. Create a two-column page with one side “problems” and the other “solutions.” It’s amazing how such a short exercise can go a long way in solving problems with law firm management practices or with cases in particular.

Third, take risks. For law firms, this isn’t necessarily the best advice. Of course, risk taking can pay off. But, it can also backfire. Luckily, there’s a simple adjective that can solve this problem. Take calculated risks.

And, take calculated risks on people. Give young associates a chance to shine.

“The great ones never play it safe when it comes to leading their teams through change, knowing their job is to serve as a guide and coach,” writes Siehold.

Fourth, have a strong work ethic.

For lawyers, it’s important to have a strong ethic in general. Don’t forget the right and wrong of cases you’re trying to win. Dedication to your work and believing in its ethic will go a long way to increasing your passion and productivity.

Finally, find a coach. For law firms, a coach should be a mentor, whether it’s a senior associate or law firm partner. Mentorship is an important part of the law.

“If a person works hard and gets a pay check he has a job. But if a person works hard, gets a pay check, and learns a new skill, she has a career,” writes Joseph Folkman for the HBR Blog in the article, “Are You Creating Disgruntled Employees?

In any business, it pays to let people make mistakes. And, if you establish a mentorship program, it’s likely your firm will gradually see less and less of them.

With proper training, your employees can learn to communicate and cope–with confidence–during moments of both success and failure. Not to mention that, in the future, your firm will gain good leaders and good lawyers.

For more ideas about how to increase productivity at your firm, read C4CM’s 69-page guide Creating a Flexible Workplace,” a powerful how-to resource on developing a workforce flexibility initiative that not only helps your employees manage their work and personal responsibilities effectively, but also boosts productivity and your company’s performance.

Some of its guidance includes how to:

  • Lower costs associated with employee absenteeism
  • Improve staff retention and recruitment efforts
  • Maximize employee productivity and performance
  • Improve quality and effectiveness of employee work and personal lives
  • Decrease health care utilization costs
  • Reduce organizational facilities’ costs
  • Enhance reputation as an employer of choice

-WB

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Questions That Shed Light On Your Boss’ Bad Behavior

Just when you thought it was time to start the weekend, your boss comes into your office with more urgent work to do. Why does this always happen on Friday afternoons?

Trying to understand your boss’ behavior can be difficult. Often law firm managers are under pressure to produce certain work product for clients or bill a certain number of hours in the week. Although these requirements may contribute to an associate’s woes, they are not a complete explanation for all of a boss’ bad behavior.

For example, does your boss play favorites? Schedule Friday evening meetings? Worse yet—are these Friday evening meetings regularly canceled and rescheduled for Saturday mornings?

To associates, it often appears like your supervisor is less of a mentor and more of a tormentor. So, as a subordinate, how can you tell the difference between management and mis-management?

“Start by doing some diagnostic work,” writes John Beeson in “Dealing with a Bad Boss,” for the Harvard Business Review Blog.

“What are your boss’s goals and interests? What does he value? A sense of urgency, attention to detail, getting everyone on board before advancing a proposed initiative?”

These questions can help employees identify their boss’ motivations. Once you understand what your boss prioritizes, it will be easier to predict what tasks with which you will be delegated.

“By helping your boss achieve his goals and communicating actively on those issues he cares about—and doing so in his preferred style—you can begin to build the boss’s confidence and make an imperfect relationship acceptable for the period of time you report to him,” concludes Beeson.

“Also, try to identify your boss’s base of knowledge and expertise and convey a desire to learn from him. Often when a boss feels valued and confident that he is receiving all of the information he feels necessary to do his job, the seeds of a more positive relationship are sown.”

So, next time you think your boss is micromanaging your work, consider this: If your boss is the type of person to feel more valued when his advice or approval is constantly sought, why not preempt the micromanaging and report to him on an hourly basis.

Adapt your working style to your boss’ management style. You may reap the rewards. For example, when your boss feels up-to-date on the status of all your assignments, he may feel it’s no longer necessary to conduct that Friday evening meeting.

Another way to gain insight into the complicated mind of a manager is to simply ask questions.

Not only should you perform a silent diagnostic assessment of your supervisor’s management style, you should also start asking direct questions. Questions demonstrate your tendency as an employee to be detail-oriented, goal-oriented, and cooperative. Answers from your boss may assuage your concerns about their mis-behavior.

If you think your boss is playing favorites, for example, ask a simple question. “Can I be assigned such-and-such important task next time?” If your boss doesn’t trust you enough, you’ll find out. If your boss isn’t actually playing favorites, he should oblige your request.

The more questions you ask, the more insight you’ll gain into a manager’s working style, preferences, and–frankly–their opinion about you.

The point is, before you start placing blame, think hard about whether or not problems with you boss involve your behavior, or their bad behavior. Asking questions is the first step in finding answers.

“In their landmark study, The Lessons of Experience: How Successful Executives Develop on the Job, Morgan McCall, Mike Lombardo, and Ann Morrison found that having a bad boss was actually one of a future leader’s most formative developmental experiences since those leaders were able to identify the ways they didn’t want to manage,” Beeson reminds us in his HBR article.

So if you can’t get inside your boss’ head to understand his bad behavior—if internal analysis and external questioning can’t solve it—then at least feel comforted by the fact that you’re the better for it.

-WB

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