I believe that the success of any law firm or solo practice is a direct result of the personal relationships that the people involved have cultivated. In other words, if your firm has succeed then it is, in part, because you’ve developed good relationships which have resulted in a good reputation and word-of-mouth from your clients and colleagues. Tomorrow, those of us in the U.S. will celebrate the harvest our good fortune has brought us. While many of us will primarily celebrate by stuffing ourselves with turkey, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce, it’s important to remember the true reason for the holiday. The Pilgrims believed that it was important to give thanks for their harvest or else they may not be so lucky next year. I believe that the same is still true. This year be sure to also give thanks to the people who’ve helped your practice succeed: your employees, your colleagues, your clients, and your family. If you don’t let them know how important they’ve been to you, you may find that they won’t be there to help you next year.
Over the years I’ve worked under bosses with a variety of different leadership styles. I’ve worked with bosses who were completely hands-off and bosses who micro-managed every tiny detail of my work. I’ve worked with bosses who were open-minded to my suggestions and bosses who believed that their ideas were the only good ideas. I’ve worked with bosses who valued the “open door policy” and those who I’d need a search party to locate. I found some of these management styles were frustrating and others helped me grow. The truth is, though, that the only bosses I actively disliked working for are those who didn’t know how to tell me when I was doing good work.
This year, be sure to let your employees know that you appreciate the work they do for you. Thank them for specific work that they’ve done for you and let them know why you appreciate it and how it mattered. It’ll increase their morale and encourage them to continue to work hard for you in the future. Meanwhile, if you have a boss whose helped you grow professionally, thank them for their hard work as well.
If you’ve received referrals, mentorship, or other assistance from your colleagues this year, be sure to let them know that you appreciate what they’ve done for you. Often it’s easy to overlook the importance that their contributions can make in the success of our business. Nonetheless, if you want to receive their referrals and help down the road, you’d be wise to let them know that you appreciate what they’ve already done for you.
Without any clients you wouldn’t have a business. With that obvious point in mind, I recommend letting them know that you appreciate the fact that they’ve chosen you to perform their legal services. It doesn’t have to go over the top, but consider sending them a short email or letter that just says: “Hey, I know you have choices for your legal representation. I appreciate the fact that you chose me. Thank you.”
Personally, I know that I wouldn’t succeed without the support and understanding of my family. They are there for me after an unusually stressful day at work; they support me when I need advice; and they put up with me when I’m being stupid. In other words, they are there for me when I need them most, and my practice wouldn’t exist without their support. If you feel that way about your family, why not let them know it this Thanksgiving?
On a personal note, I also want to thank you, our readers, for taking the time to read my posts. This blog wouldn’t be a success without you and your support. Let us know what you’re thankful for in the comments section.
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