Authored by: Amanda Unterreiner
Unlike other professions, as a new attorney, you are likely put in a position to manage a team right away, such as paralegals, legal assistants, or office staff. It is important to come in as a new attorney with the right attitude and leadership style. Even seasoned managers can benefit from learning and teamwork-centered leadership style. Meyling Ly and Fermin Llaguno shared some tips in a recent article from Attorney at Work.
- Learn from your team. Even though you are managing your team, you also have a lot to learn from them. Come in willing and wanting to learn from them. They have valuable information about the firm culture, your colleagues, current compliance rules, client preferences or expectations, and the reputation of your firm’s frequent opponents.
- Teamwork mindset. Your team should win and lose as a team. They want you to succeed because your success is a reflection of your whole team’s work. Think like a team, act like a team, and know that your team wants to succeed with you. If you come in and act superior, you can lose your team’s support. But, if you come in with a team mindset, you and your team will be significantly more successful.
- Prioritize one on one meetings with your team early. Your initial one-on-one meetings with each of your team members should focus on getting to know them and their job, learning from them, and seeing what you can do to help them. Open the meeting by letting them know that you understand you have a lot to learn from them. Prepare a list of questions, including asking them about their job, their role, their work style, their experience, and team dynamics. Ask them how you can best serve them as a manager and any ideas they have to promote a positive and productive working relationship.
While you may feel like you need to come in with something to prove by claiming yourself as a dominant leader, you will have much more success and be much more effective if you lead with a learning, teamwork mindset. See more tips in this article from Attorney at Work here.