5 tips on managing others as a qualified lawyer
Managing people is part and parcel of the legal profession. However daunting it may seem at first, there are simple solutions to being an effective manager. Here are five tips to get you started.
To be a manager, you need to be someone that others look up to. This means you need to display strong personality traits that resonate with the people you’re trying to reach: be confident, assertive, sociable and easily approachable. Be honest and straightforward, know what you want and know how to get people to listen to you. Practice what you preach and others will follow.
Be precise about your expectations and goals, and what you want to achieve. Let people know exactly what they have to do and make sure they have understood and are ready. Keep your team updated about new clients, deals, workplace changes and objectives that are likely to affect them. When everyone knows exactly what to do, when to do and how to do it, productivity and efficiency will improve greatly.
Conversely, listening to the input and complaints of your group—and encouraging them to be more involved in discussions—will create an open and collaborative culture. If anyone is having difficulties or issues, you should do your best to deal with it to the satisfaction of everyone involved.
Share your experiences
Being open and approachable about your prior experiences can make you a more desirable leader to any junior lawyers in your group. Talking to your team about relevant cases and clients with which you were involved, or giving them helpful advice, will always be appreciated and will mark you out as an accomplished professional in the field.
Plan, organise and implement
If you’ve ever experienced a poorly-organised study group in your academic life, you probably know how frustrating it is when no one can figure out what’s going on or what to do. To avoid similar situations in your professional life, it’s important to be organised. Plan out your team’s achievements, and all the deadlines and objectives that have to be met. Prioritise tasks by keeping in mind both the deadline as well as the type and complexity of work required. Be efficient and assign specific and relevant tasks to members of the group most suited to handle them. Put this into action by setting timeframes for the members, and seek updates regularly to ensure everything is going according to plan.
Enable your team
No group can work well if they aren’t allowed to thrive and use their skills and knowledge. Enabling people to fulfil their tasks and meet their objectives using a method they find best will work out well for everyone and improve morale.