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!