Special THANKS to Velsoft for creating this introduction video. To view a similar video as well as download a free soft-skills course, go to www.softskillsforlawfirms.com Soft-Skills Training WHO WHAT WHEN WHERE WHY Soft-Skills Agenda 1 Define Soft Skills 2 Who, What, When, Where and Why 3 Obstacles 4 How to Start Wiki Defines Wiki Basic Definition http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soft_skills • A sociological term relating to a person's "EQ" (Emotional Intelligence Quotient), the cluster of personality traits, social graces, communication, language, personal habits, friendliness, and optimism that characterize relationships with other people. Soft skills complement hard skills. • Also know as behavioral competencies, interpersonal skills or people skills. Wiki Definition continued Legal Reference • It has been suggested that in a number of professions soft skills may be more important over the long term than occupational skills. The legal profession profession isis one one example examplewhere wherethe theability abilitytotodeal dealwith with people effectively effectively and andpolitely, politely,more morethan thantheir theirmere mereoccupational occupational skills, can determine determine the theprofessional professionalsuccess successofofaalawyer. lawyer. (Giuseppe Giusti, Soft Skills for Lawyers) IT Reference • Increasingly, over the last two decades, it has been recognized that when IT Professionals Professionalsacquire acquiresoft softskills, skills,better betterrelationships relationshipsare are built between IT and the other business units within the enterprise, fostering alignment. A key element of IT Professionals building these relationships is their ability to communicate, communicate,itithas hasbeen been suggested that communication is a measurable and improvable type of intelligence, "CQ" (Communication Quotient). • (Robert Service, CQ: the Communication Quotient for IS professionals) www.wordle.net Sample Exercise • Back-2-Back Drawing – Round 1 – Experience receiving direction without non-verbal cues. – Communication – Collaboration • Back-2-Back Drawing – Round 2 – Person is allowed to ask yes/no question How does your drawing look? Other Potential Drawings: Back-2-Back Drawing • Debrief – What was it like to give directions? – What was it like to receive directions without being allowed to ask questions? – Why do you think the pictures in the room are so different? – Do you think the people receive or perceive the same instructions the same? – What’s stopping you from asking questions? – Do you know your teammates well enough to communication effectively? Soft-Skills Training WHO WHAT WHEN WHERE WHY can benefit? types are effective? is an effective time to offer? are valuable resources? HOW to incorporate some soft skills training at your firm? offer these courses? WHO can benefit? EVERYONE • • • • • • Staff Assistants Paralegals Attorneys Clients YOU WHAT types are effective? • Seminars/Workshops – Practice Groups – Client Teams – General Group Session • Online • Informal Meetings • Retreats WHEN is an effective time to offer? • Relevant • Consistent • Part of Overall Firm Goals and Objectives WHERE are good resources? • • • • • • • Firm Personnel Local Companies Customized Courses Online Courses/Videos Books Web ILTA !!! See Resource document for additional information on the above resources. WHY offer these courses? • Employee – Provide an environment that fosters growth (personally and professionally) – Best Employees want to get better and weaker need opportunities to get better. • Supervisors/Managers – Increased job satisfaction and morale – Reduced turnover – Increased capacity to adopt new technologies and methods • Firm – Increased efficiencies in processes, resulting in financial gain. – Enhanced company image – Increase the goal of achieving company goals and objectives HOW to get started? • • • • Who to start with? What should we start with? Where am I going to find time? When is best time? • Now we understand WHY this never seems to happen! Obstacles • No centralized training department • Core competencies have not been clearly defined • Absence of leadership and direction has results in lack of focus and continuity • Lack of time and resources “Developing Effective Client Service Teams: A Whole New Approach” Peer to Peer Magazine, Professional Development Issue, August 2005 by Theresa Lundquist, Perfect Access Speer Overcoming Obstacles • Focus on Collaboration • Utilize the expertise of the various people within the firm • Draft an outline and get the approval of management • Focus on Collaboration Move toward training and education that is Strategic Collaboration Human Resources Assistants Staff Info. Technology Litigation Support Legal Support Services Change Management Team Building Time Management Critical Thinking Attorneys Paralegals Practice Group Management Library Resources Assessment Project Management Word Processing ...but... How do we Do this? HOW to put together a Soft Skills program Six month plan Main focus on Collaboration Training that is Strategic Resources Guide upload with PowerPoint HOW? Firm training WHAT type? General Intranet Tips Videos WHEN best time? Weekly Monthly Change Management 5th month Group Meeting Online Course WHERE resources? Dale Carnegie Dale Carnegie Local EAP (Employee Assisted Program) Velsoft Online Training HOW? Staff training WHAT type? WHEN best time? WHERE resources? Team Building Small Seminars with various groups Accounting, Business Development, Human Resources, IS Department 1st Month One group per month Velsoft Mind Tool Exercises Members from previous group help with next group. HOW? Assistant training WHAT type? WHEN best time? Book Review Who Moved My Cheese 2nd Month WHERE resources? Group Discussion Wiki (Remote Offices) Choose several people to help with next session. Team Building Online Course 4th month Velsoft Mind Tool Exercises HOW? Attorney training WHAT type? Public Speaking Toast Masters WHEN best time? Based on Interest WHERE resources? Toast Masters (New Associates) Team Building Exercise Online Course 3rd Month Practice Groups Mind Tool Exercises (Request 15 minutes) Velsoft Depending on interest ask an attorney to speak on future topics. HOW? Future look at potential programs • Associate Boot Camp • Attorney Mentoring Program – Communication Skills – Listening – Time Management • Assistant Mentoring/Team Program • Certificate Program for Staff Training HOW? Individual Sessions Our focus has been on the attorneys • Associate Boot Camp – Organization – Time Management – Working with Your Assistant (Courtesy, Respect, Communication, Team Building) • Attorney Mentoring Program – – – – – Communication Skills Listening Time Management Commercials - Movies Seven Steps to Getting a “Date” HOW? Individual Sessions Our focus has been on the attorneys • Various Attorney Lead Presentations – – – – – – – Generation: Can’t We All Just Get Along One Minute Manager Meets the Monkey Lessons from an Irate In-House Counsel Fixed Fees: Historical look at Law Firms Commercials - Movies Seven Steps to Getting a “Date” Social Media Sessions Under Our Umbrella • • • • Get Started! Keep an Eye on the Future… Don’t make it Hard! Build Team Work!! GO! Thanks!