8 Lessons they didn’t teach you in law school that are essential in business
Communicating effectively with different personalities whether that be with your boss, your colleagues, clients or people you manage will make your life a lot easier. Emails can set the wrong tone and voicing your unconscious biases can affect the confidence and wellbeing of minority groups in the business. So always remember that your words have consequences.
2. Customer service
Providing exceptional service to your clients will make you stand out from the crowd. Word of mouth and referrals can really make or break your career. It's also important to manage client expectations and both agree to be flexible and adapt to suit each other’s needs for outside of business hours.
3. Be Positively Human
Being authentic, personable and emotionally intelligent will not only draw potential clients to you, but your team will also warm to you much more as well. 'Know', 'Like' and 'Trust' are so important in business. Remember, whatever sector you work in - you're a person selling to another person... So don't be a robot! If you're not sure what your personal brand is right now, actually all that matters is that you decide what you want it to be.
4. Think Commercially
Being able to understand your firm’s finances and culture will earn you a lot of respect from your partners and will provide the foundation for the direction of your career. They always have the bottom-line to think about, managing money and staff in a way that turns out profit is a constant battle for business leaders. If you can demonstrate your understanding and incorporate that commercial awareness into your day-to-day activity, your value to your firm will sky rocket.
5. Mindset & Skills
The world is ever-evolving, therefore for you to be at your most valuable, you need to be ever- evolving too. To make this sustainable, you will need to choose an element/skill that you are really interested in. If you seek to always improve this process or skill, you will end up being the perceived expert in this area – and experts are valuable.
6. Build real relationships
For a lot of people, effective networking is a real challenge and this is why... When people go to network, in the back of their mind they are already thinking of the sales pitch. They are looking at the room for people that will be "useful" to them. However, the reality is that you won't know who is actually going to be useful to you until you have built a real relationship with someone. You don't know who is in their network and who their friends/family are. So stop looking for clients and start talking to anybody.
7. Personal Brand & Impact
Despite what your marketing department tells you, your brand is more important that your firm’s brand because people will always buy from people. So what is your personal brand? What are your values? What drives you? What's your story? What are your interests? What are you an expert in? What are your goals? Who are your ideal clients? Once you answer these questions it is then time to be social and communicate your personal brand in a way which impacts.
8. Manage your Projects & your Priorities
As busy professionals, we all appreciate the true value of time and most of the time it feels like time is one thing we don't have much of. The secret to true time-management is being able to prioritise. Your day should be a balance of both reactive and proactive activities. 'Reactive' will often be the things our bosses pass down and 'proactive' will be the things we are doing to develop our individual value, which will include several of the career accelerating elements above. As you get more experienced you should be delegating more and more reactive elements down to your team.