410, 2017

The Art of Effective Communication for the Family Lawyer

This article was first published on the Law Society’s Family Section on 13 March 2017
Jannette Brimm, training director at Skillssanctuary Ltd (formerly Skillsology Ltd), offers insight into the value of effective communication within a family law practice.

Effective communication with colleagues is a valuable skillset to develop, and while it will not produce a utopic family law firm, it enables us to better relate to our clients, both internally and externally, by helping to build valuable relationships that will support us in reaching our professional and personal goals.

Are you working on your working relationships?

As a lawyer, it’s strange to think of your colleagues as clients; they don’t pour out their emotional hearts to you like your external clients, or come to you for legal advice on domestic abuse, or talk about their matrimonial meltdown. But your colleagues (your internal clients) are those you work with every day and they are equally fundamental to your firm’s success.

Your internal client is every single colleague who assists you to serve your external clients. They are integral to your firm’s value chain, revenue, billable targets and meeting the emotional needs of your external clients. This requires partners, lawyers and support staff to proactively talk to […]

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2909, 2017

Global Leader – Trump Tower, Trump Power

Love him or hate him, Donald Trump is a successful businessman with strong leadership skills. Regardless of your political viewpoint, Donald has been successful in business and real estate for the many years. The business world has known him for his real estate successes and mainstream America recognises him for The Apprentice television series. Even more recently, with his decision to run for President (and win), he is a part of popular American culture and now many a great dinner party discussion.

You might argue that Donald Trump is arrogant and could, perhaps, even be diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder. Regardless of the viewpoint, it takes a confident person to be able to lead others effectively (or ineffectively). Can you remember the last time you were influenced by someone who lacked confidence but had a loud voice and intimidating style? Being confident is a critical part of business, particularly when you are regularly involved in complex negotiations.

Donald Trump is not that much different than many of the effective leaders in the world. The amount of wealth he has and his personality are definitely differentiators, though. His “in your face” style is off-putting to some but refreshing to others. No matter what […]

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2702, 2017

Name it to Claim it

What’s in a name? “…that which we call a rose – by any other name would smell as sweet; [famous words from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, 1600]

Naming things is hard. When you name something, you want it to anchor itself in people’s minds; the name and the thing are then forever connected. It creates brand recognition and builds a strong business. Names and words don’t exist in a solo vacuum. People often have history with them or create associations.
But how do you tell if the company name you have in mind is a good one? Just going with it might be the easiest route, but you’ll kick yourself if a much better company name comes along or a problem emerges with the name you’ve chosen especially if you find yourself going through a long and costly process to change the company name to something else (our lesson learnt). Much better to reject the wrong name now and choose a name that’s going to be an asset to your business.
is our new company name
We must remember a business needs a lot of different things in order to succeed. Smart leadership, good marketing, and a sound business strategy are by far the […]

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1902, 2017

Happy New Year 2018

And no this is not a typo!
Happy New Year to you all for 2017 but least none of us be surprised that the words “I can’t believe it’s 2018” will soon be echoing across the workplace water stations as once again 12 months will fly by and we look back with disbelief on “how on earth” did yet another year pass so quickly, as we are left still recounting the same old words of we are getting older, I am not where I want it to be, I need to leave this place, I need to spend more time with my children – each New Year we make heady new year resolutions and before you know it, it is Happy New Year 2019!

I have always said ‘The end dictates the beginning’, knowing where you want to go allows you to start mapping out the journey so by the end of 2017 you have to start the journey this January 2017.  The big question therefore is what are you going to do this new year? What plans and projects have you put in place to focus your day and time?  Yes the year will be busy, nothing new there, but unfortunately as we know busy does […]

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303, 2016

Women More Than Men to Be Impoverished in Retirement

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A new analysis finds that women are far more likely than men to face financial hardship in retirement. A report released today by the National Institute on Retirement Security (NIRS) finds that across all age groups, women have substantially less income in retirement than men. For women age 65 and older, the data indicate that their typical income is 25 percent lower than men. As men and women age, men’s income advantage widens to 44 percent by age 80 and older. Consequently, women were 80 percent more likely than men to be impoverished at age 65 and older, while women age 75 to 79 were three times more likely to fall below the poverty level as compared to their male counterparts.

These findings are contained in a new report, Shortchanged in Retirement, The Continuing Challenges to Women’s Financial Future. The report is availablehere.

A live webcast of the report findings will occur during the NIRS retirement policy conference, Retirement Realities, scheduled for March 1, 2016. Watch the conference proceedings here. The conference agenda is available here, which includes opening remarks from Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and expert discussions of women’s issues, retirement investing and behavioral finance.

“It is well documented that the […]

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1401, 2016

What is your New Year’s Revenue Resolution?

Happy New Year to each and every one and may 2016 bring you all plenty of work, wealth and great health.
A New Year generally lends itself to a time of reflection, it’s a new time to start all over again, it’s a time to bury the past, change old non-productive habits, learn new things so that we can do things differently. Some of us like the feeling of getting a fresh start and forgetting the past. We like to believe that, during the next 365 days, things will be better and they can be!
Sadly human routines are stubborn things, which helps explain why 88% of all resolutions end in failure, according to a 2007 survey of over 3,000 people conducted by the British psychologist Richard Wiseman. Bad habits are hard to break—and they’re impossible to break if we try to break them all at once (the adage therefore being “less is more”).
Here are the Top 10 Made (and quickly broken) New Year Resolutions:
 Spend More Time with Family and Friends
 Learn Something New
 Save money and get out of debt
 Lose Weight and Get Fit
 Quit Smoking
 Diet and eat healthier
 Travel to New Places
 Be Less Stressed
 Volunteer
 Drink […]

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211, 2015

Climb the corporate ladder faster! Get along (with people) to move along (in business)

While your technical skills may get your foot in the door, but its your people skills that keeps the doors wide open. Your work ethic, your attitude, your communication skills, your emotional intelligence and a whole host of other personal attributes are the business skills that are crucial for career success.

With business skills you can excel as a leader; problem solving, delegating, motivating, and team building are all much easier if you have good business skills. Assuming that soft skills are universal leads to much frustration. That’s why it’s so important to focus as much on soft skills training and development as you do on traditional hard skills.

The problem is, the importance of these “soft” skills is often undervalued, and there is far less training provided for them than hard skills. For some reason, organisations seem to expect people to know how to behave on the job. They tend to assume that everyone knows and understands the importance of being on time, taking initiative, being friendly, and producing high quality work.

A firm that makes client service a priority will remain successful. How to accomplish this? It should be innate, and yet, as mentioned, communication is still the number one complaint. […]

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211, 2015

Importance of Soft Skills During Hard Times

With many businesses and practices downsizing their learning and development provision for staff, it has become increasingly important for individuals to take matters into their own hands. Whilst technical knowhow may get you a certain job in the first place, it’s those soft skills that you’ve built up over the years that help maintain your position and provide value added extra to both your company, clients and colleagues.

Solicitors soft skills include those skills such as leadership, team building and negotiation and are the value added traits that can mark you out as exceptional in an increasingly competitive and crowded employment marketplace. Being an expert in conveyancing or corporate law may well make you indispensable to some practices but possessing the transferable skills which take you that step further are what many organisations are now looking for.

Taking Responsibility for Your Own Learning

By developing your business skills alongside your other expertise, you become a greater asset to both your clients and customers. If the worse does come to the worse, and your practice begins downsizing, or you think it is time to move on, having a strong portfolio of transferrable skills will make you more appealing and give you a wider range […]

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1709, 2015

from seed to succeed…..the coming of Skillsology

Never ever in our wildest dreams, had we expected our business support skills to take us to the dizzy heights, to be the CEO of our own successful business!

Trust me, this road was not easy with many a missed (to downright did not see) opportunity!  We had all dabbled in businesses (well, what we thought were businesses), but looking back we had all at different times failed to join up the business dots of marketing, sales, planning, and the many, many other skills it takes to run a business.

My skills journey starts like this – with my love of reading I decided one light bulb day to sell books to children so that they could see and share the great job of reading paper books (my head could not comprehend that children were happy reading cold hard ebooks devoid of colour and feeling) – I wanted them to experience the joy of turning pages, see the beautiful colours on the front cover illustrations that brings a book and its story alive, so in the summer of 2006 I started an outdoor book business in Brixton Station Road market. The summer was lovely and just as I thought, children (and adults) […]

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