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YOUR CAREER

Just promoted to office manager? Follow these 9 critical rules to avoid problems managing former friends and colleagues

Getting promoted to office manager can be a mixed blessing. As a former staffer, the new manager comes into the job knowing the good performers, the bad performers, the shortcuts, the troublemakers—and a few secrets. But the former peers also know their new boss, including strengths, weaknesses, and what buttons to push. Along with that, they are wondering how their relationship with their former peer will change. And someone who vied for the promotion could be poised to sabotage the new manager. Things are different now. To be successful in the job, the staffer-turned-manager has to carve out an entirely new position in the office. 1. Get a proper introduction The first hurdle is to get into the position with the acceptance of the other staff, and to achieve that,… . . . read more

STAFF MEETINGS

Zoom hiders: Camera shy or disengaged?

By Lynne Curry Question: For our mandatory manager meetings, I show up on time so my attendance is noted, and then get through the meetings by multi-tasking. It’s easy enough to hear what’s said as I get other work done. I cover this up by always making a positive comment on at least one of the manager’s proposals. I leave my video off, though, and when the manager chastised me, I compromised by turning it on at the beginning, saying “hi” to everyone, and turning it on anything important is happening, and when I’m speaking. I thought this was a reasonable compromise, so imagine my shock when my manager said my leaving the camera off was a key reason I wasn’t one of the three managers being sent to a… . . . read more

YOUR CAREER

Changed jobs: What have I done?

By Lynne Curry You expect to feel angry when fired from a job you enjoy. You expect to feel scared when laid off from a job at which you felt secure. You don’t expect to feel rotten one week after you intentionally make a career move from a job you’ve outgrown to one that promises to be challenging and rewarding. So why are you so rattled during your first week on this new job? Sudden job change takes you from a job and practice in which you know who’s who and what’s what and throws you into situations you need to navigate without a clear road map. Before you have the chance to learn your new employer’s unwritten rules, including whom to trust and who might take things the wrong… . . . read more

TRAINING

8 simple steps to improve virtual presentations

Today’s hybrid workplace means you may have to conduct training and information sessions for remote staffers. You need to know how to best present yourself and your material virtually, using tools such as PowerPoint slide shows. Consider these tips to ensure your audience gives full attention to your presentation without being distracted by glitches. Format your virtual presentation so it’s easy to read and follow. Use text sparingly on each slide and ensure the text you use is large enough to read. Use visuals/videos that are engaging but also easy to view and follow. Limit the overall number of slides and transitions. Consider sharing your virtual presentation slides separately. If you have the ability, consider sharing your virtual presentation slides or other visuals with your staff ahead of time or… . . . read more

PRODUCTIVITY

5 ways to say goodbye to the procrastination blues

By Lynne Curry The report’s good, but not good enough. You should have worked on it a week ago, but you put it off. Friday afternoon, you panicked. You killed a perfectly good weekend to get everything finished by the Monday morning due date. If you want to break the “put it off until nearly too late” habit, try these five strategies. 1. Decide you’ll start projects when you need to start them — even if you don’t “feel ready” Procrastinators hesitate to begin projects until they “feel ready.” Unfortunately, you may not feel ready until long after you should have started. The antidote? When you commit to a project, assign a “D” (no more delay) date. When that date arrives, start the project, even if your only action is… . . . read more

LEADERSHIP

10 tips to turn toxic management into teamwork

By Daryll Esposito You know how valuable your employees are. The question is, do they know you know it? The working world is changing fast, and so are the demands of leadership. Successful law offices must nurture an environment that is not only productive but also provides flexibility, opportunity, and job satisfaction. Almost two-thirds of small to midsized companies report that employee retention is a bigger problem than hiring new talent, according to recent research from Zenefits. And when good staffers leave, it creates costly disruptions that can hamper overall productivity. WHAT IS A TOXIC BOSS? Leadership is never easy. It requires big-picture thinking, tough calls, and a deft touch to nudge things in the right direction. It also requires mutual trust and respect with everyone you work with. A… . . . read more

YOUR CAREER

8 ways to make your meetings zoom by

By Lynne Curry If you dread meetings–attending them, hosting them–and long for meetings to become more than a necessary evil, you can make it happen. Not long ago, I hosted a two-day, 15-hour meeting that the 17 attendees said “zoomed by,” “was fun, kept me engaged the entire time,” and “made an hour seem like five minutes.” Here’s how we did it. 1. A “you” start We started with the “real,” with questions like “how is remote working for you this week?” 2. Real value Before I launched into the first topic, I asked everyone what they hoped the meeting focused on and what results they wanted from it. Everyone listens to the same radio station, WIFM, “what’s in it for me.” If your meeting attendees know from the start,… . . . read more

YOUR CAREER

Carve out some calm amid the chaos

With the demands of your job as a manager in busy law office, turnover in today’s staffing market, worries about world upheaval, and your own personal challenges outside work, life is stressful. Executive leadership coach Hortense le Gentil says you need to reclaim some mental space to make room for your intuition. Here’s her advice: Let your brain take a break! Breaks allow you to check in with yourself and refuel. Checking in helps you align with yourself as you step back, get some distance, remind yourself of your “why,” and examine whether your thoughts, your words, and your actions are congruent. Ubiquitous technology is making unplugging far more difficult everywhere, as email and cellphones follow us wherever we go. To make things worse, it is often difficult to switch off this… . . . read more

MANAGING STAFF

Beware the Bermuda Triangle of workplace conflicts

By Lynne Curry We don’t always understand why we react to some people, nor they to us. Or why otherwise talented employees and supervisors get tangled in interpersonal messes that create toxic work environments. Over the years, when I’ve helped clients fix workplace conflicts, I’ve discovered some of the most challenging conflicts stem from drama triangle collisions. Like the Bermuda Triangle, that North Atlantic Ocean region where ships mysteriously vanish, the drama triangle lurks beneath the surface of many messy person-to-person interactions. The drama triangle represents a three-way match of negative energy. If you’ve not heard of matching energy, consider what happens when you meet a coworker who talks about everything that’s going wrong. Your energy vampire coworker drains your energy until you feel negative, matching her energy. In this… . . . read more

YOUR CAREER

Own your piece of the action

By Lynne Curry “It wasn’t my fault. I blew up because I had the worst day.” “Anyone would have reacted the way I did.” When you lose your temper, shut down, or behave badly in other ways, you may feel tempted to rationalize your behavior. It can feel right to pin responsibility for your reactions on the other person or to attribute them to the situation. When you do, you hide from the truth. You said what you said. You did what you did. You own responsibility for what you say, how you feel and the actions you take. When you admit how you contribute to problems, you win. Owning = winning Consider the difference: “I did it” versus “you made me do it.” “I don’t like sarcasm” versus “you’re too sarcastic.” “I was… . . . read more


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