CLP has interviewed these legal coaches in very different positions about what motivated them and how coaching has significantly influenced their professional careers.
Dr. Brokamp, may we ask you to briefly introduce yourself?
I was an attorney in two medium-sized law firms in Bremen, then I was responsible for Business Development & Legal Marketing in large law firms in Brussels, Frankfurt/Main and Hamburg. My focus is on supporting lawyers in their professional and personal development.
On the one hand, I train hard skills such as acquisition, presentation techniques and law firm marketing with my colleagues. On the other hand, I coach lawyers in the development of their soft skills in fields relevant to their profession. This includes coaching on team communication, leadership and career.
Over the last almost 20 years I have worked both as a lawyer and in the BD & Marketing Staff and am familiar with large law firms and also medium-sized units. This gives me a high degree of credibility in the field of law firm marketing and especially in coaching with all parties involved.
I am well aware of the daily challenges that lawyers and their teams face and I help to master them and solve problems. In addition, I give impulses for law firm development and strategic issues. Confidentiality is always a top priority in my work.
I live with my husband in Bremen right next to Bürgerpark, and as a true northern light I go inline skating on the dyke and sailing on the Baltic Sea whenever possible.
#1 When did you first become involved in coaching and why? Did you get to know coaching as a client?
In my last position as Head of Business Development and Marketing in Hamburg I noticed that both partners and associates came to me from time to time and asked for my opinion on various professional topics, and in most cases these conversations opened up new perspectives. One partner then advised me to expand my portfolio and start a coaching training. Very good decision - never regretted.
I actually only got to know coaching as a client during my training. Testing various coaching tools on myself has shown me again and again what a powerful and great tool coaching can be when you deal with a good coach.
#2 What was it that particularly fascinated you? What do you see as the added value of coaching for lawyers in particular?
What I find particularly fascinating about coaching is the fact that with the right questions from the coach, a coachee can determine the development of the problem solution himself. The coach does not act as a mere consultant, but helps his client to develop the best possible solution scenario for himself.
Sometimes, with just a few adjustments, this can change situations that at first glance seemed terribly complicated and deadlocked. Lawyers work in an extremely competitive and fast moving world; the competition is fierce. Lawyers are constantly on the road as problem solvers for their clients but often lose sight of their own environment. Especially in this area, it is important to get someone on board who is familiar with issues typical of the industry and has an unbiased view from outside.
#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?
First and foremost, I work on concrete questions with lawyers and their teams, and also in the area of career coaching and leadership. The awareness for coaching has developed slowly but steadily in the legal profession. More and more colleagues appreciate the work of coaches and see a need for it. Nevertheless, there is still a lot of room for improvement in this area. Inquiries come both from the person asking the question and, in some cases, from third parties who can imagine coaching for a colleague or team.
#4 Your very personal tip for success:
Be authentic and have a genuine interest in the client. And be honestly pleased when the client says at the end "Ms Brokamp, since you were with us, I have really enjoyed going to work again. And I think the employees feel the same way." (true quote)
Thank you very much.