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5 mindset changes for Partners and Legal Managers in a Covid workplace

  • November 10, 2020

As legal firms navigate the ongoing Covid-19 situation, tackling novel challenges with a new mindset is a must.

Partners need to take a step back and look at how their teams have changed.

The pandemic has changed significant parts of our lives, and such a shift requires a change in mindset too. Today, we look at five ways to ensure to your mindset has changed to manage the new normal.

1. Prioritise People

Fear has been a big part of our daily lives this year, but as we continue to battle the virus, a mindset shift towards gratitude and putting your people first will enhance the whole team.

Many legal firms have been in precarious positions in the last few months, but legal leaders now are aware of how resilient their teams are, after coming through this challenging period.

As the Covid situation continues to change and new restrictions are imposed and lifted across the U.K., make sure that your team are your number one priority. Excellent management includes making sure your team are clear on the direction that your firm is moving and that they have everything they need to flex and work from home and that they feel supported by you in their roles.

2. Encouraging Innovation

The U.K. legal sector is rooted in historical regulations and practices, but this year has been the year where everything was turned upside down.

Being open to new practices and encouraging innovation in your legal team is an excellent way to enjoy continued success in the post-Covid era.

Some firms saw remote working as an unfortunate but necessary step in controlling the virus. Still, it is now time for legal leaders to accept that their teams and operations have been changed forever by the virus. What more can you be doing to encourage innovation and new ways of working in your post-Covid practice?

  • Do you need to provide more digital training?
  • Invest in new software to aid remote collaboration?
  • Refine your sales process to use video conferencing?

3. Setting New Expectations

Until the start of the year, most legal firms will have had in place familiar role expectations and progression opportunities – now is the time to revisit these.

Between increased remote working, teams that may have expanded or been made smaller, and increased business in certain specialisms, there is a lot to think about in terms of your post-Covid team and their roles.

It’s a good idea to have one-to-ones with individual team members (on Zoom if necessary) to go through with them if their roles or expectations have changed. Team members might have taken on extra work without a formal discussion about it and will be wondering what the future of their role looks like.

Additionally, keep your legal team in the loop at all times about changes to the business – if you plan on expanding in certain specialisms and your broader plans for the business.

4. Being Cautious, but Not Paranoid

The pandemic has caused many of us to be on high alert for potential dangers – to our jobs, our health and our families.

But now your legal team need you to be a strong manager and lead with caution instead of paranoia.

Focus on the positives and look at how far you’ve come through the pandemic – making it through to this point even if you have faced significant challenges is a ‘positive’ to remember.

Even with further restrictions, there are ways for your team to keep delivering your excellent legal services and to stay safe, but cautious.

Make sure your team know that their health is your number one priority – provide flexible working options and ask your team for suggestions as to anything else you can do to help them feel safe.

Despite the virus, many legal teams are thriving, albeit in a strange and new environment. Embrace the change and look forward to the new opportunities that the post-Covid world will bring. Growth figures for the legal sector are still down on last year due to the lockdown months, but they are recovering with four out of five firms confident about the year ahead, according to a recent sector survey.

5. Adopting a ‘Growth’ Mindset

What kind of mindset you have will determine your success; most people (and teams) have either a fixed mindset or a growth mindset.

If you want to read more on the subject look at Dr Carol Dwecks extensive research on the subject.

Moving from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset is one way to lead your team to success in our post-Covid world.

Let me explain the differences –

  • A fixed mindset is: believing things ‘are the way they are’ and feeling unable to change, and this type of person does not like being challenged on their beliefs
  • A growth mindset is: believing that change is possible, wanting to learn and seeing mistakes as positive and an opportunity to grow

Adopting a growth mindset has never been more important, as the coming months look set to be filled with continual challenges for your legal team as we adapt to the ‘new normal’.

On a Final Note

Do you need new legal talent for the challenges that lie ahead? Do you need employees with the skills to propel your firm forwards in our post-Covid world? Are you planning on expanding in certain specialisms?

We can help.

Get in touch with us today by calling us on 01772 259 121 or emailing us here to find out how we can help you recruit your new generation of post-Covid legal talent.

About Clayton Legal

Clayton Legal has been partnering with law firms across the country since 1999 and during that time has built up an enviable reputation for trust and reliability. We have made over 5,000 placements from partners to legal executives, solicitors to paralegals and legal I.T. personnel to practice managers.

If you are building your legal team or looking for your next career move, we can help. Call us on 01772 259 121 or email us here.

If you would like to know more about recruiting trends in the legal sector this year, download our latest guide here.

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