Category Archives: Practice

Delegation Practices

Assigning and Delegating Aren’t the Same Thing – Here’s the Difference

Mastering the skill of delegation is critical to your career.  In the past, on the WLF blog, we’ve addressed certain obstacles that get in the way of successful delegation.

Today we’re focusing on another delegation challenge: the practice of assigning work under the guise of delegation.

Both assignment and delegation have the same short-term result: the work gets done. But throw even the smallest wrench into the works (unexpected changes, unanticipated crisis) – and an assigned task becomes a boomerang that lands back in your lap. A delegated task, on the other hand, becomes a positive challenge for your team – at work or at home – to stretch, grow, and achieve optimal results. The critical distinction is that assignment is task-oriented, while delegation is results-oriented.

As with many things we discuss in WLF, effective delegation begins with cultivating the right mindset. A good leader effectively assigns work to improve their productivity now. A great leader effectively delegates challenging work and responsibilities as a learning and motivating opportunity to improve long-term productivity. Remember the success of the people who work for you is your success.

This month, practice these skills to master delegation:

  1. Tend to the person (or team) – not to the task.

    Understand your own role as leader; be clear, kind and direct. Step into this role by leading by example, enabling (empowering) and setting the people who work for you up for success (at work and at home).

  1. Know what YOU want.

    If you can’t visualize success, how can they? Before giving instructions, take a deep breath, center, and ask yourself what outcome will really make you happy. Be as specific as you can about your conditions of satisfaction. This might take an extra five minutes in the moment, but could save hours on the other end, not to mention added stress and disappointment.

  1. Know what THEY want.

    Understand motivating – and demotivating – factors by recalling your own experiences of performing delegated work, and seeing your team members as “collective individuals.” Remember that many team members are motivated by having the autonomy to deliver results in their own way and by understanding how they are contributing to a larger goal. The better you understand the person to whom you are delegating (both “hard skills” capabilities and “soft skills” individual drivers), the better you can lay out a framework for mutual success.

  1. Flex your behavioral style.

    What you do and say – and how you do and say it – matters (a lot). You have all taken the DiSC assessment. Pull it out, brush it off, and refamiliarize yourself with the your own natural style and the style of others – particularly under stress. If your team members have not completed the assessment, take a guess at their style and experiment flexing your style to make help make them more successful. Just remember not to “box in” anyone.

  1. Be clear, specific, and complete.

    During busy times, it can be tempting to drive straight into the task and move on. However, spending a few extra minutes on big-picture context, expectations, and process not only minimizes risky guesswork, but also can help align and motivate team members.  To know whether you’ve been clear and specific enough, ask whether the team member you’re addressing knows answers to the following

  • How the task supports a bigger challenge or client/firm success?
  • What are the expectations and success metrics?
  • What are the deadlines: internal and external ?
  • What is the appropriate level of initiative / authority they should be using?
  • Accountability: How and when to check in or ask for help?
  1. Try to meet face-to-face (in person or virtually).

    E-mail serves a purpose, but especially at the beginning of a new assignment (or delegation relationship), interactive meetings are essential to build trust and provide additional insight through non-verbal cues. It’s helpful to summarize the meeting with a memo/email to ensure clarity and alignment – in fact, this can be the first item you delegate!

Are you an alum of the Women’s Leadership Forum? We’d love to keep in touch with you! Request to join us in our private Facebook group here, or connect with Susan on LinkedIN here and send me a note that you’d like to be part of our exclusive LinkedIn group.  Also follow us on Instagram for frequent reminders of WLF content!


Delegate or Drown: Mastering a Critical Skill for Building a Sustainable Career

First, a Quiz: Are you a Delegator or a Delegavoider?

  • Is your inbox out of control?
  • Do you find yourself regularly working overtime and/or staying up late at home on tasks “only you” can do?
  • Do you assign tasks rather than delegating responsibilities?
  • Do you view questions as interruptions?
  • Are you frequently interrupted by requests for guidance or clarification?
  • Do you frequently redo others’ work?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be a delegavoider!

If you have delegation challenges, now’s the perfect time to do something about them.  It’s important to maximize your relationships and resources before times get tough.

As the complexity of your job and your home-life increases, it is more important than ever to master the art (and neuroscience) of delegation. Putting these skills into practice to build high-performing teams is equally important at work and at home, regardless of your job title, and whether you are in a relationship or are raising children.

Delegating At Work:

We know the financial model of law firms is dependent on leverage. Delegation also builds trust (and therefore communication and effectiveness) among team members, and helps to motivate and retain high-performing junior team members.

Having a high preforming team at work may be the only way for you to have a thriving legal practice and the flexibility to tend to expected and unexpected responsibilities outside of work.

Delegating At Home:

Delegation (both sharing responsibilities within families and investing in additional support services) enables us to increase the depth and quality of personal time spent with those who matter most – including ourselves!

Our most important relationships – and resources – are nurtured through delegation. Having primed and reliable pinch hitters in the wings provides extra breathing room and peace of mind in the VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) legal world. And yet we keep falling into the “It’s easier to do it myself” trap.

Five Ways We Talk Ourselves Out of Delegating

Here’s what I hear most. . . and a different perspective you might consider taking for each excuse:

  1. It’s faster if I do it.”

This may be an accurate assessment. But at what cost? First, every withheld assignment is a missed opportunity for your team (or your teen!) to develop skills and a sense of ownership and responsibility.

Second, by reaching down for easy assignments rather than up toward growth opportunities, you may be sacrificing your own career development or quality of life.

And finally, assuming that you have multiple, competing responsibilities, is it truly faster if a task takes you 30 minutes to complete but spends a week on your desk before you can even get to it?

  1. “I can’t trust anyone to do it right.”

There is a lot to unpack in this statement.  But simply put, this is most likely your problem – not theirs. Sometimes it is a firm-wide issue, such as poor hiring decisions or a failure to deliver required skills training in a timely manner.

Most of the time, however, mutual distrust comes down to trifecta of ineffective delegation: (1) not giving ownership of the process, (2) being unclear about needs and expectations, and (3) not building in sufficient “learning margins” for team members to ask questions or fix their own mistakes. Most people truly want to do the best job possible, especially when we give them ownership of their own success.

  1. “My client / family expects me to do the work personally.”

With the exception of highly sensitive, confidential projects, I am hard-pressed to think of an instance where any client specifically wants a senior attorney to perform junior-level work. What they do want is for someone with more experience to oversee, review, and ultimately be accountable for the final product.

At home, does your family really care if you personally drive to the grocery store, cook all meals from scratch, and clean the kitchen? Chances are, what they value most is the quality time spent together at the dinner table and great food (wherever it comes from!).

The good news is that there are many ways to maximize resources, both externally (e.g., hiring extra help, using grocery and laundry delivery services) and internally (i.e., sharing responsibilities for home chores) in a way that works for you.

  1. “I don’t receive any credit from my firm for training/mentoring junior team members. Advancement and increased compensation go to the lawyers with the highest hours and originations.”

I am the first to acknowledge that there can often be a disconnect between what law firms say and what they do. But as we all know, the profit model of law firms is based on leverage. The numbers typically show that a partner who keeps her team fully utilized, even if her own hours are slightly down, generates more profit for the firm than one who meets or exceeds her own targets but has excess capacity on her team.

Moreover, delegating work frees you up to invest time in more strategic activities that generate even more revenue streams, making you a high-performing individual contributor even as you delegate. Throughout this process, remember that you are responsible for communicating your accomplishments proactively.

    1. “While I manage major client matters, I don’t officially have my own team. How can I delegate work without stepping on people’s toes – both associates and the senior partners who manage them?”

Leadership has nothing to do with job titles or responsibilities.  Rather, it has everything to do with accountability and mutual success. Many of my clients admit to being uncomfortable giving work to others. They often deal with their discomfort by being vague or indirect with directions, deadlines and feedback.

This is a formula for mutual frustration and poor performance, and further fuels the “It’s easier to do it myself” cycle. Articulate your needs and expectations clearly and directly to senior partners and associates. Remember that the tone you use may have a greater impact on the outcome than the words you use.

                6.     “I worry that if I delegate, I will no longer be seen as                                     indispensable.”

Think back to early in your career. As your experience and performance improved, was your supervising partner sidelined or replaced? Being indispensable for what you already know means that you have fewer opportunities to learn new things and grow yourself!

Practice This Week

  • Begin taming your inner delegavoider by considering where and in what ways you fall into the “It’s easier to do it myself” trap.
  • Identify one work assignment and one home chore that you could delegate. It’s okay if this seems difficult – that’s precisely why we’re talking about this subject! Consider items that you are unable to get to right away, have longer deadlines, or that you feel less “proprietary” over (i.e. less inclined to direct the process from A to Z.)

Are you an alum of the Women’s Leadership Forum? We’d love to keep in touch with you! Request to join us in our private Facebook group here, or connect with Susan on LinkedIN here and send me a note that you’d like to be part of our exclusive LinkedIn group.  Also follow us on Instagram for frequent reminders of WLF content!

How to Make Sure Your Commitments Match Your Convictions

How to Make Your Commitments Match Your Convictions

Harvard Business Review’s 2005 article, “Do Your Commitments Match Your Convictions?” holds even more true today than it did in the pre-social media era when it was published.  In their research, professors Donald N. Sull (MIT-Sloan) and Dominic Houlder (London Business School) identify a societal phenomenon and outline a powerful self-authorship tool that has stayed with me to this day.

The Growing Gap Between What We Value And How We Spend Time, Money and Attention

For many of us, there is a growing gap between our convictions – what we value most – and our commitments – how we actually spend our money, time, and attention. We explain away the gap by claiming that we are “too busy.”

Contrary to what we believe, it’s usually not the “big” obligations that make us “too busy.” It’s the small, day-to-day commitments that we barely notice. Measuring ourselves against other people’s expectations – and a track record of meeting or exceeding their expectations – further reinforces the gap. This is why it is so hard – and often takes a personal or professional crisis – to force us to re-evaluate our priorities and change course.

But why wait? We can use same prioritization framework we instinctively apply during a crisis to close the gap before a crisis hits.

A Simple Prioritization Framework

The Sull and Houlder framework is simple, yet surprisingly effective:

Here’s how it works. (The article also features a sample worksheet, including annotations.)

1. First, list the things that matter most to you in all dimensions of your life (professional, family, social, spiritual, individual, etc.).

Be as specific as possible! For example, “money” may represent different values for you. Is it a metric of success (e.g., making more than your law school classmates)? Is it a means to a goal (e.g., retiring early and travelling the world)? And which value is most important?

While there is no ideal number of values, generally a list between 4 and 10 is sufficient to address different areas while maintaining a focus on top priorities. There are also no “good” or “bad” values. The authors note that for the exercise to be effective “it’s not about what you (or others) think you should value – but in what really matters to you.”

2. Second, note down how much money, time, and the quality of physical and mental energy you invest in each area.

Money and time can either be denoted in actual amounts or percentages. Energy is denoted by a “+” or a “–” sign to indicate peak attention to or low energy or focus (e.g., multitasking) on an activity.

3. Third, review your list with a critical (examining and curious, not judgmental!) eye.

Do the most important values get the most money, time, and energy? Was there a lot of time or money that you could not account for?  Are you devoting your peak energy to what is most important?

This exercise can help you identify new (or revised) commitments that align more closely with your convictions. The authors advise relinquishing or renegotiating one old commitment for every new one. Beware of making unrealistic commitments that are bound to fail and the “clutter trap,” i.e., forgetting to let go of old commitments as we take on new ones.

Above all, remember that taking control of your future commitments will ensure that your past commitments don’t control you.

Are you an alum of the Women’s Leadership Forum? We’d love to keep in touch with you! Request to join us in our private Facebook group here, or connect with Susan on LinkedIN here and send me a note that you’d like to be part of our exclusive LinkedIn group.  Also follow us on Instagram for frequent reminders of WLF content!

Harnessing Your Brain to Control Daily Overwhelm

This week I’m excited to share some amazing insights from Dr. David Rock’s Your Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long. It’s a guidebook on how to survive – and succeed – in today’s overwhelming work environment while feeling energized and accomplished at the end of the day. I particularly like this book, because it provides very practical, science-based strategies to gain control over your daily life.

Six Key Brain-Disrupting Challenges

Dr. Rock first identifies six key brain-disrupting challenges we can all relate to in today’s workplace:

  1. Email overload
  2. Highly complex problems in need of creative solutions
  3. Competing deadlines for multiple projects
  4. Distractions (and finding ways to shut them off, or say no!)
  5. Pressure to perform
  6. Mental roadblocks (getting stuck, or getting in our own way)

Many of us build up myths around our ability to overcome these challenges, believing that our mental endurance is limitless. We acknowledge that it is impossible for any of us to lift a one-ton weight, yet we falsely believe that we can hold onto tons of different ideas at one time. And while we know it’s physically dangerous to over-exercise, we are blind to the harm we are doing by trying to “push through” our mental limits.

Here are some of the things I hear most frequently from women lawyers:

Myth 1: I Can Multitask!

The Truth: I have spoken extensively about Cal Newport’s book Deep Work on the scientifically-proven benefits of focus. We all think that we can multi-task. But the truth is that it is the least efficient and most exhausting way to work.

According to Dr. Rock, at most we can hold four ideas in our heads at once – and the reality is more like one or two. Moreover, we are ALWAYS slower when juggling multiple tasks. And switching between tasks significantly increases the probability of making mistakes.

The Solution: Avoid multitasking by prioritizing and delegating. Remember the mantra “do what you are doing.” Be very disciplined about focusing on one thing at time. The only instances where multi-tasking can be effective is when you can pair a more thinking-intensive task (e.g., talking on the phone) with a more automatic, routine task (e.g., emptying the dishwasher).

Myth 2: I Can Power Through!

The Truth: Your best thinking can only be sustained for a short period before your performance drops off. Moreover, when you’re overloaded it’s easy to lose track of your overall intent. Also, when you become overly fixated on a single idea or solution, you may miss key connections that can result in true insights.

The Solution: Make knowing when you need a mental break as natural as recognizing when you need a break from physical activity – and take it.

Myth 3: Stress Makes Me Perform Better!

The Truth: Yes. . . and no. Optimal performance is fueled by just the right amount of stress. Too little stress, and we are not motivated and can become careless. Too much stress and we become overwhelmed. The happy medium is different from person to person.

We all need some stress to perform. But in high-pressure environments, the adrenaline-rush actually becomes counterproductive.

The Solution: Know your own peak performance balance. Identify times when you feel an uptick in your alertness (a sense of urgency) and interest (a burst of energy/excitement) and experiment with different levels of stress to calibrate your “zone.”

Learn from and encourage what motivates you.  And if you are responsible for managing someone else, understand that their optimal level may be significantly different from yours.

Neuroscientific Best Practices for Maintaining Control of Your Day

I’ve summarized five practices from Your Brain at Work below, and I challenge you to try them for two weeks.

  1. Consider when and where you are at your best for different types of activities or tasks.

    We all have a natural “groove” for different mental processes. Maybe your most creative ideas come in the evening, while your most accurate, detail-oriented work is performed first thing in the morning. Maybe you hit a slump at 2:00 pm, meaning that this is a good time to perform routine activities that require less thought and energy. Plan your days accordingly, and you will be amazed at how much more you can accomplish in less time.

  2. Get things out of your head on a regular basis.

    This is one of the easiest and most effective ways to increase control over your day. Getting things on paper clears valuable space in your head for creativity and problem solving. It also helps quiet that interrupting “What if I forget. . .” voice and is a great way to acknowledge distracting thoughts and ideas without letting them get in your way. Even if you have the world’s best memory, I guarantee it takes far more energy to summon action items from the deepest recesses of your mind than to note them down and later refer to a written list. Take time to try different approaches and find what works for you.

  3. Prioritize, re-prioritize, and prioritize once more.

    This is my personal favorite. Do you often start the day by turning to the most urgent things on your to-do list? Or even worse, the loudest things on your email? If so, you may be missing the most important time of day for accomplishing what matters most.

    According Dr. Rock, the act of prioritizing uses a lot of energy from the prefrontal cortex of our brain (the brain’s C-suite.) While ticking things off a linear to-do list can give us a sense of immediate satisfaction, we often then never get to the things that matter most. We end the day feeling exhausted, wondering if we accomplished anything that actually matters. Every morning, make prioritizing your priority. When your brain is at its best, decide what matters most to you, and prioritize these items according to importance, urgency and relevance. Then commit real time to accomplishing those tasks – maybe even first thing (if this is your peak brain time). Use your calendar as a central tool for proactively living your life according to your priorities.

  4. Simplify!

    Simplify complex new ideas by focusing on just one or two salient points until you become more familiar with them, and group information into chunks of similar items. This not only helps to reduce overwhelm, but just as importantly, it keeps you from becoming bogged down in details and getting stuck.

  5. Minimize Distractions.

    Research shows that up to 30% of our time is expended on distractions! We distract ourselves with flyaway thoughts. We allow ourselves to be distracted by others, who bombard us with ringing phones, blinking emails, “just stopping by with a ‘quick’ question. . .” and more.

    Train yourself to focus by turning off distractions and doing what matters most when you are at your best. And those pesky emails? Schedule (and try to stick to) specific times to respond to emails so that you can stop worrying about them. Remember, even 10 minutes of distraction-free time is better than none.

If you are curious to learn more (we’ve barely scratched the surface here!), I highly recommend Dr. Rock’s book.

Are you an alum of the Women’s Leadership Forum? We’d love to keep in touch with you! Request to join us in our private Facebook group here, or connect with Susan on LinkedIN here and send me a note that you’d like to be part of our exclusive LinkedIn group.  Also follow us on Instagram for frequent reminders of WLF content!

Five Practices to Increase Courage

Recognizing that courage is actually about pushing through fear can initially feel very liberating.  That is, until the inevitable question “Now what?” emerges.

This week, try these practices that effectively engage your mind and body to build strong reserves of courage.

  1. Set a SMART intention to act with courage.

    Identify one “stretch” behavior you are going to try.  For example, this might be to speak with a more authoritative tone.  To call your contact about potential new business.  To be the first or among the first to speak up on call.  Accept a speaking engagement (or better yet, go out and proactively find a speaking engagement!).

    Write down your intention – and make sure that it is SMART – specific, measurable achievable, realistic, and time-bound.

  2. Use your breath to calm your nervous system and remain focused on your intention.

    Begin by slowly breathing in and out. As the external noise fades away, remember why acting with more confidence matters to you.  For example, perhaps you want to make partner.  Or you want to win a big piece of business. Center around your objective and ask yourself, “for the sake of what am I doing this?”

  3. Use your body posture to stabilize your emotions and feel more confident.

    Press your feet into the ground. Lengthen your spine. Open your chest. Make eye contact. And remember to slow down.

  4. Create the conditions that allow you to show up at your best.

    Visualize yourself taking that courageous step. Be aware of, and manage sources of stress. Above all, practice, practice, practice. Practice out loud if the stakes are high and if your confidence is low.

  5. Call on an external muse.

    Think of someone who inspires you, and bring them to mind as you call on your courage. Remember not to focus solely on their accomplishments. But, more importantly, to reflect on where they may have needed to act with courage.

Most of all – keep trying. Courage is contagious.  One act of courage, even if things doesn’t turn out exactly as expected, often leads to another. And then another. And so on. It is the effort of trial and error that builds experience. And with experience comes true confidence.

Are you an alum of the Women’s Leadership Forum? We’d love to keep in touch with you! Request to join us in our private Facebook group here, or connect with Susan on LinkedIN here and send me a note that you’d like to be part of our exclusive LinkedIn group.  Also follow us on Instagram for frequent reminders of WLF content!

How to Practice Self-Compassion

Turning Your Self-Critic from Saboteur into Supporter

What is self-compassion?  Simply stated, it’s being understanding and kind to yourself. Remember that this is not self-indulgence – far from it.

In the short-term (for example, during highly stressful or busy times such as the holidays) self-compassion is the quickest and most effective way to rebound from setbacks. Over time, it can become a key practice to help all of us build the resilience needed for long-term, sustainable success and satisfaction.

Like so many topics we address in WLF, self-compassion may be easy to define but is not always easy to practice. The biggest challenge of all for many women (including myself!) is learning to work with our self-critics. (Note that I said “with” and not “against” – more on that later.)

But first, here’s a quick reflection on self-criticism and self-compassion in practice.

Think of a situation at work that did not go well. . . in fact, think of something that went really, really badly. Keeping this situation in mind, read through the two paths below.

Self-Criticism Path

Step 1: Escalation. I’m a loser, I can’t believe I messed this up; everyone is going to think I’m incompetent. I AM incompetent. I’m going to be fired.

Step 2: Avoidance. Even though I feel terrible, it will be even worse if people see how this is affecting me – I have to keep a stiff upper lip.

Step 3: Isolation.  I can’t keep up this façade any longer – I need to hide from the world.

Results: This process can lead to obsessive thinking and a downward spiral. I’m going to get fired any day now. Will anyone else hire me? Maybe I’m in the wrong field – but I have so many law school loans that I have no choice but to stick with it. My spouse is going to leave me).

Self-Compassion Path

Step 1: Acknowledgement. Well, that didn’t go well. This feels bad. In fact, it REALLY hurts.

Step 2: Acceptance. I am not perfect – and that’s OK. Pain and imperfection are part of the shared human experience. In fact, all of the people I admire most make mistakes sometimes. I am not alone.

Step 3: Reflection. How can I comfort and care for myself in this moment of setback/failure/disappointment? I think I’ll take a quick walk to get some coffee. What would I tell my best friend if s/he were going through the same thing? THAT’s what I’ll tell myself.

Results: This process leads to deeper reflection (What have I learned from this experience? What’s next?) and ultimately growth and progress

You’ve just experienced self-criticism and self-compassion in practice. What did you notice about each path? How did the two paths feel? It may have been really hard to be OK with making a mistake. Notice that! Remember you are human.

At this point, some of you may be thinking “Death to my self-critic! I’m so on board with self-compassion.” Others among you may be struggling to relinquish the notion that self-criticism is motivating, and feel that that the self-compassion path let you “off the hook.” And revisiting those negative emotions – on both paths – probably still felt pretty bad. This is precisely why understanding self-compassion practices is just as important as learning about the theory.

The irony is, both our self-critical AND our self-compassionate voices are striving for the same goal – to help us achieve better outcomes. So, it is a mistake to treat our self-critics as “The Enemy.” What’s more, self-critical voices do not come with an automatic mute button – and trying to squelch your self-critic can actually have even more detrimental results! (I can’t even tame my own self-critic? I really AM hopeless!)

Try These 6 Self-Compassion Practices

When you feel yourself being pulled down the path of self-criticism, try out one of these 6 different self-compassion options (you can also print this image as a worksheet to keep at your desk!):

  1. Observe and Acknowledge. Notice your feelings and emotions in different circumstances throughout the day. Next time your self-critic pipes up, recognize that she actually has good, if misguided, intentions. Acknowledge it rather than trying to suppress it.
  2. Redirect – Redirect your inner critic’s focus to specific situations and behavior, rather than broad labels or personal attributes. For example, instead of thinking “I’m so lazy” (broad negative attribute with zero motivating energy), try having your critic recognize a specific situation, e.g., I didn’t go to the gym last night, because I couldn’t face driving in rush hour traffic after a long, draining day.
  3. Comfort. Notice WHERE you are feeling your emotions. Is it a tightness in your chest? Heaviness in your shoulders? Relax what is tight. Learn what is most soothing to you. Remind yourself that EVERYONE is imperfect – this is the essence of our shared humanity.
  4. Work WITH (not Against) Your Self-Critic. Think of a constructive action.  For example, “While getting to the gym after work is exhausting, I actually am energized when I finish my workout. Next time I could plan to go in the morning, before rush hour, and I may even have more energy during the work day!
  5. Surface Your Friend Voice – If you find yourself being overly self-critical, listen carefully to what your self-critic is saying. Then ask yourself – would you say half of those things to a good friend going through a similar situation – or even to someone you don’t really like? What would you actually say to him or her? Surface your “friend” voice and notice the change.
  6. Connect and Engage. Find a group of supportive women who are embarking on the same journey. Talk about your shared experiences and feelings. Support mutual self-compassionate voices!

These practices won’t always come easily. Remember, we can even choose to find some humor in the fact that we will often fail in our efforts to embrace failure. So above all. . . be kind to yourself on your self-compassion journey.

Are you an alum of the Women’s Leadership Forum? We’d love to keep in touch with you! Request to join us in our private Facebook group here, or connect with Susan on LinkedIN here and send me a note that you’d like to be part of our exclusive LinkedIn group.  Also follow us on Instagram for frequent reminders of WLF content!

Create your vision for 2016 in 10 minutes

For those of you who have taken Reactionary to Visionary recently, you will be updating your vision.  For those of you who have not taken this workshop for a while or have never taken it, the instructions are as follows:

Imagine it is January 2017 and you are having coffee with a very good friend.  You say “2016 was an incredible year…”

1. Free-write for two minutes in detail about all that you envision doing as if it has already happened. e.g., “I made partner in April and I am now a member of the Partners Committee” , or “I had a baby girl who is now 3 months old”  Then repeat the same exercise twice more, two minutes each, getting more granular each time.

Questions you can ask include:
What is happening at work?  I was promoted to equity partner, I brought in a large matter, I won an award, I was asked to lead a practice group, etc.

What is happening at home? My relationship with my significant other grew stronger, I had a baby, I met someone great, I bought a house, I decorated my house, my daughter got glasses, etc.

What else is happening? I exercised regularly and lost 5 lbs., I took up horseback riding, I was asked to be the president of the PTA – I turned it down because I learned to say NO (just checking to see if you are reading!).

2. Now, imagine yourself standing in your future place and ask yourself, “What do I need to start doing now to increase the odds I will manifest my vision?”

3. Lastly, write down your goals for the year: up to three is plenty.  Remember to focus on small steps. Don’t overwhelm yourself by taking on too much.