People Management

Would You Work for You?

By | Sep.17.12 | Daily Dispatch, Law Firm Management, People Management

Would you work for you? Why or why not? It’s a great question to ask yourself—often—if you are “da boss” or supervise other people. It provides a quick self-audit and points to things you’d be wise to keep doing—or to stop doing, and sooner than later. Below are a few of the typical compliments and disgruntlements law office staff have shared with me about their supervising attorneys, irrespective of firm size or areas of practice.

Top Five Disgruntlements
  • Always works in crisis mode due to chronic poor planning skills.
  • Multitasks when talking or meeting with staff.
  • Fails to prioritize and coordinate those priorities with staff.
  • Attempts to make staff feel guilty or otherwise bad about being out of the office for legitimate reasons such as vacation, sick days or CLE.
  • Shows total disregard for common courtesies such as saying good morning, please and thank you—and fails to give praise when deserved and to voice complaints in private!
Top Five Compliments
  • Treats staff respectfully at all times. (In contrast, attorneys who disrespect the ethical rules with their clients often display the same character with their employees—lying to them, keeping them in the dark and so on.)
  • Values all of their employees for what they each bring to the work team (e.g., no talking behind backs, values their personal time, and appreciates them).
  • Is open to staff’s input, new ideas and feedback.
  • Listens attentively and makes the time necessary to coordinate work flow and priorities successfully (and clearly).
  • Happy to share successes and to give credit where due.
What Would You Add to These Lists?

But more importantly, would you want to work for yourself? Why or why not?

Nancy Byerly Jones, a former practicing lawyer, is a mediator and life-solutions consultant and coach to individuals, law offices and other businesses nationwide. If you have questions or just want to chat, you can reach her at, follow her on Twitter via @LawBusinessTips or check her out more on Linkedin:

Illustration ©ImageZoo.

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