Client Case Studies

Case study 1

Design and delivery of a suite of performance management workshops for partners and associates in a magic circle law firm.

A series of half-day events driven by a perceived need for partners to be able to “have difficult conversations". The resultant workshops develop the skills, and move participants' understanding to a new level, helping them to identify the connections between the quality of their day-to-day management and the likelihood of them needing to have (once-a-year) difficult conversations.

Using the participants' live examples and challenges as the raw material for exploration, workshops address the following key questions:

  1. What is the relationship between the quality of on-going management through the year and a productive performance review?
  2. How can the performance review connect the needs of the firm with the aspirations of the individual?
  3. What is needed to ensure that the individual's development plan is a) motivating for them and b) delivers sustained improvement?
  4. How can 'difficult conversations' be conducted in a way that results in constructive change?

Complementary workshops are provided for the appraisees, many of whose careers have until this point been strongly externally guided and structured; for example through attendance at law school and through undertaking a legal trainee-ship. And so it is at this stage that many require help in order to become more pro-active and self-directed in managing their careers, and in being able to have conversations that generate the support they need.

In preparing appraisees for their review (and other career) conversations with their senior party, workshops help them to:

  1. Achieve greater clarity with regard to their career aspirations
  2. Concretely articulate personal learning objectives (in addition to performance objectives) for the coming period
  3. Identify specific areas of support that are sought
  4. Handle difficult conversations with senior parties in ways that build reputation and mutual trust