In a word, YES. Your coach could be a fellow lawyer in your firm, or another solo (who in turn you could coach), or it could be someone else. Basically, the purpose is to engage a friendly, experienced person to offer ideas and remind you (some might refer to it as nagging) to do the things you said you would do. But, if you are serious about developing business, you’d be well-advised to get a coach.
Ed Poll of LawBiz Management Company has an article in LawyersUSA (subscription required) in which he succinctly explains what a coach (vs. mentor or consultant) really does:
“Coaching is not an episodic engagement – that’s consulting. And a coach is not a senior mentor who, while cruising at 35,000 feet, offers career advice to a junior one. Rather, coaching is the development of a career-long team approach to identifying problems and overcoming them. A good coach operates at ground level to provide life and practice-enhancing guidance, identifying roadblocks as they are encountered and working to remove them. A coach provides both accountability and support by holding the lawyer accountable and candidly focusing on solutions and deadlines.”
I’ve found over the years that lawyers, being analytical and all, can really get into planning their marketing goals and objectives, but often fail miserably when it comes to actually implementing their “plan.” Occasionally, there may even be a good reason, but generally they turn out to be excuses for failing to execute their strategies that would grow their practice.
As Poll also points out, in another article on coaching that “Coaches do not have all the answers, but they provide an on-going sounding board for your problems, questions, and ideas.”
So, do you still think that a coach wouldn’t be able to help you grow your practice?