Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Praise Where It's Due

We recently received an email at the LawCare office which brightened Monday morning for all of us. With the writer’s permission, I’m going to quote from it:

I attended your course … this morning. To be honest, I only attended because I had to visit a client in [Town] the previous evening and it occurred to me that I could fit in the course this morning whilst I was in the area. Anything for a free CPD point, I thought.

Whilst the course focussed on the stresses faced by those who have been made or think they might be made redundant, I can assure you that as a sole practitioner responsible for running every aspect of his own business, a lot of what was said hit home with me. Had I been ticking boxes for symptoms of stress I would have run out of ink (apart from IBS – I am happy to say that I don’t get that).

As I said on my feedback form, and I note one or two others have said in your ‘feedback’ section, I think this course should be compulsory for all lawyers – it has certainly made me think very seriously about actually addressing the issue of stress (if only because even I realised some time ago that being stressed out does not make me as effective as I need to be to run a successful business) rather than reaching for another beer at the end of a long day.

Your presentation was a very pleasant surprise, and it is extremely reassuring to know that there is an organisation out there that is trying to help. When I have put some of your ideas into practice I shall make a donation.

In the meantime, maybe you could try to persuade the Law Society that all lawyers would benefit from this course, failing which they could at least publicise your website more vigorously (unless they have been doing this already and I have just been too stressed out to pay attention.)

Our presentations are generally well received (it’s free CPD, what’s not to love), and all attendees are asked to fill in a feedback form which seem to indicate that we’re doing a good job. But it’s still encouraging to receive additional feedback like this.

I may have occasionally mentioned on here that I also write novels. They are not vanity published, so I do actually make money from them, but not much. But what really makes all the effort worthwhile are the emails I receive from readers who have enjoyed my books. I have a folder in my email called “fan mail” and its contents are worth far more that any royalties to me. Which is a good thing too, because the royalties from my last book were less than £1,000.

Not that I’m suggesting that lawyers should be paid in compliments, but we don’t say “to pay a compliment” and talk about “Praise where it’s due” for nothing. Compliments, praise, approval, whatever you like to call it, it’s all worth something, and it is owed. Those who are doing a good job - whether a writer, a lawyer, a secretary, or someone giving a seminar - should be told as much – failure to do so is robbing them of the satisfaction and encouragement they are entitled to.

LawCare’s free and confidential helpline is available 9-7.30 Monday-Friday, 10-4 weekends, on:
0800 279 6888 (Solicitors, Law Students and Legal Executives in England and Wales)
0800 279 6869 (Solicitors, Advocates and Law Students in Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man)
0800 018 4299 (Barristers, Clerks and Judges in England and Wales)
1800 991801 (Solicitors in the Republic of Ireland)