Often I get asked to coach a rising star. They are great lawyers and have partner potential but, through no fault of their own, don’t know how to lead or manage people as well as they could.

I work with these women to become more conscious and intentional in their leadership actions.

I believe we all have that potential.

The first leadership lesson to focus on is: APPRECIATION.

If there’s one thing a leader at any level can do that feels good and yields immediate positive results, it is appreciation.

Appreciation is not just saying thank you.

Appreciation is being specific and clear in your recognition of someone’s effort and contribution.

I have a client who at the end of each day sends one email to a different person.  She makes note on a private calendar of whom she has written to, so she can make sure she spreads around the appreciation.

The results have been tremendous for her.  She gets to feel good giving it, (appreciation is evidence-based to give you and others a boost), and her colleagues are sharing positive feedback and appreciation back to her.
Nice, right?

You may do it to lift your own energy. And you do it from your heart when you want to acknowledge someone.  Appreciation can make their day.

Now time to take some appreciative action!  Grab a pen and one of those legal pads I know you have handy…

Action 1:  Brainstorm a list of people you work with.
Start with the other associates. Associates above you, lateral to you and below you. Write down all the paralegals and assistants. How about the people in the conference center or professional development? Now, write all the partners above you.
Yep, they all love getting appreciation as well.

Action 2: Start where it is easiest.
Who have you worked with recently who did a great job?
Who helped you out tremendously?
Who was generous with their time, energy or kindness?
Start there.

Action 3: Keep it short and sweet. 
I know doing this is antithetical in many big law firms’ cultures. But come from the heart.

It can be one or two sentences. Start with: “I appreciated when you…”
Or, “I want to say a specific thank you for…”

Of course, the message can be delivered via email, over the phone, or in person. Do what will be easiest for YOU.

Action 4: Put it out there.
Press send.
Pick up the phone.
Stop that person in the hallway.

Again, do whatever method of delivery is easiest for you.

Action 5: Tell us about it.
I am curious, who are you going to start with? What do you want to appreciate?

We all could use more appreciation. 

Please share in the comments below.

I’d appreciate hearing about your appreciation adventures… 🙂


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