CLP has interviewed these legal coaches in very different positions about what motivated them and how coaching has significantly influenced their professional careers.
Dr. Roeder, may we ask you to briefly introduce yourself?
I am a founding partner of Greenfort and today I work in the area of conflict resolution and corporate/M&A. I am also a mediator, arbitrator, conflict coach and consultant. Since 2009 I have also been a lecturer at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main and since 2013 a judge at the Hessian Bar Court. Previous positions include lecturer at the Justus-Liebig-University Gießen, examiner for the first state examination from 2008-2016, head of a legal revision course from 1997-2001, doctorate at the Friedrich-Schiller University Jena, legal clerkship in Frankfurt, studies in Marburg and Hamburg. In 2016 I co-founded the citizens' movement Pulse of Europe. I am married, have two children and enjoy living in Frankfurt am Main. I do a lot of sports, I am busy with many other things and I am happy about life every day.
#1 When did you first become involved in coaching and why? Did you get to know coaching as a client?
I came to coaching through mediation. At some point I realized for myself that as a lawyer I cannot give professional advice in the area of conflict resolution if I do not master the range of possible conflict resolution methods. I then trained as a business mediator and later worked as a trainer in the field of mediation myself. Many of the mediative techniques are similar to coaching techniques. Out of interest, but also in order to be able to better accompany clients, I continued my training in conflict coaching and finally did a two-year hypnosystemic training for coaching and consulting at the Milton Ericson Institute in Heidelberg. This included regular supervision. I was also a coachee myself as part of a training and coaching program at Greenfort.
#2 What was it that particularly fascinated you? How do you see the added value of coaching for lawyers in particular?
What's exciting about the mediation and coaching formats is that you experience self-perception and external perception on a different level. Techniques such as empathic listening are enormously fascinating and can have an unbelievable effect on the other person, but also on yourself. Lawyers are conditioned to be advisors. To take on a neutral, moderating role instead, in which the will to understand is in the foreground and one's own opinion plays no or only a subordinate role, is a complete paradigm shift. Once you have internalized this, you automatically become a better advisor - even in the role of a lawyer.
#3 How do you use coaching today in your professional and/or private situation? In your experience, how and to what extent is coaching used by lawyers today?
As we have already mentioned, we at Greenfort have established a training and coaching program that all lawyers go through. If I personally need a coach or sparring partner, I can always get suggestions at short notice due to my many contacts in this scene. Alternatively, I go for supervision. Overall, coaching is still used rather cautiously in the legal scene. If so, I often have the feeling that these are template HR measures that are not pursued with the aim of serious personal development.
#4 Your very personal tip for success:
Always remain curious and open, live in the here and now, show others the necessary appreciation and always keep an eye on society as a whole. Or after the British band The James: "May your mind set you free, may your heart lead you on" (from: Waltzing along).
Thank you very much.