I Am Not the Lawyer with the Problem. It’s You.

April 29, 2013

Framing image for 2nd tr blogWhen confronted with criticism, it is easy, second nature even, to look around the room, your office or entire organization and conclude that the problem is with everyone else – certainly not with you.

It is much more comfortable, for instance, to determine that your management style, which by all accounts can be classified as micromanaging, isn’t the issue at all.  Rather, the heart of the matter is your colleagues’ inability to do their jobs correctly sans heavy-handed supervision.  In fact, upon reflection, you can fool yourself into believing that your micromanaging actually is a necessary motivational tactic and not a counterproductive nuisance.

While rarely in fashion, finger pointing has long been the default mode for many.  In contrast, acknowledgement and ownership have historically have been off-limits for all but a few brave souls.  Looking in the mirror and declaring, “Change begins with me” takes chutzpah.  And, like all great challenges, the reward for doing so is significant and manifests itself as professional excellence.

It is only by embracing, as opposed to deflecting, shortcomings, that you will be able to become a better legal practitioner.   As long as you continue to cling to your habits, beliefs, and tried-and-true methods, you will keep getting more of the same – team members who make all the mistakes, colleagues who don’t work as hard as you do, and co-workers who “just don’t get it.”

The only way to eliminate the real problem and overcome professional hurdles is by recognizing that it’s not in fact them, it’s you.