Why we love what we do:
Lawyers are often highly skeptical and critical of development programs through concern this development will be superficial or a waste of valuable time.
That said, when we get a group of highly intelligent people together and create an environment of trust and respect, it invariably leads to stimulating conversations about the complex challenges facing lawyers in their roles. These conversations drive shifts in thinking that often enable lawyers to make the professional or career shifts that help them transition in one way or another.
It also enables greater consciousness of how legal training and practice can create unhealthy assumptions and habits that limit potential. Job satisfaction and joy at work can be foreign concepts to many lawyers. In 2012 we researched what we call the role of the ‘inner critic’ for lawyers. The findings have been profound and have enabled us to support lawyers to understand that the greatest blocker to their own career progression is often themselves. Focusing on mistakes or flaws, hesitating to take risks, being overly perfectionistic and self critical drives anxiety and distress.
In our programs we witness lawyers become more conscious and working from a platform of robust self awareness. They set audacious growth goals and pursue them with discipline and a deep sense of purpose. I am constantly astounded. My hopes for the legal profession are that there are fewer lawyers that feel like a hostage to their jobs and there are more lawyers who are experiencing joy in their work roles.
This is why I love the work l do in this organisation.
It's often considered a luxury or even self indulgent for lawyers to stop, take time and reflect on themselves and who they are becoming.
Through working with the legal profession, we get a glimpse of 'what a day in the work life' is like for a lawyer, and to help them to refocus on what they are good at. Some forget or only consider areas to improve on, rather than embracing their strengths and assets. It's inspiring when people bring all of themselves to development programs and are prepared to explore their goals of succeeding and enjoying their careers in an environment of healthy tension, honesty and optimism.
Our experience is of individuals and groups working incredibly hard in a culture of collaboration and trust, often leading to surprising breakthroughs which weren't thought possible.
We often see significant shifts in thinking which open doors and possibilities for how lawyers can engage with clients and peers, regardless of their careers being in private practice, in-house legal teams, government or social justice.
The ultimate reward for us is when lawyers experience more joy in their work, careers and whole life as a result of the work they do with IKD.