Since early 2014, I have been researching and thinking of ways to improve the learning & development system for lawyers in Japan. I have held training workshops on what it means to be a 21st Century lawyer, how to draft contracts in English, and improving time management to name a few. I have also had numerous coaching sessions and discussions with lawyers at various stages of their legal careers and with legal professionals from various Japanese companies.
After much thought and research about learning & development, I think that there are 7 elements that should be a part of a strong learning & development program for lawyers and legal professionals. I have labeled this approach ExC7eL™. In my ExC7eL™ Model, lawyers and legal professionals work to improve their mindsets and skills to excel in the following areas:
- being Centered
- Constant Learning
- Critical Thinking
Being Centered means that each individual has self-awareness of her personal vision and mission, core personal values, personal and professional goals, individual strengths, and then tries to align her daily work based on this self-awareness.
Constant Learning means that each individual has a commitment to improving his lifelong learning mindset and takes concrete actions to increase his ability to learn, unlearn, or relearn strategically, effectively, and efficiently the most important things that he needs to learn (e.g., legal updates, how to use new technologies, soft skills).
Critical Thinking means improvement in (1) observation, (2) interpretation, (3) analysis, (4) inference, (5) evaluation, (6) explanation, and (7) self-regulation. For more on this topic visit this link.
Communication means superior oral and written skills. It also includes the ability to engage in active listening and good questioning, and a commitment to improving one’s cultural intelligence.
Compassion means defining one’s commitments to local and global communities, acting in ways that honors these commitments, and improving one’s emotional intelligence.
Creativity means in the case of lawyering, thinking not only as a lawyer, but having broad thinking. In other words, looking at issues from multiple perspectives and looking for multiple possibilities and opportunities to provide solutions.
Connecting means the ability to connect networks and communities to add more value to society. It also means continuously improving one’s personal brand.
These are 7 areas where I always try to improve. I think lawyers (and non-lawyers) who excel in each of these areas will have the mindset and tools necessary for working in the 21st Century and for dealing with the chaotically changing times. Thus, I will continue to coach around these 7 elements, and my future workshops and trainings will continue to enhance one or more of these areas.
What are your thoughts about my ExC7eL™ Model? Please feel free to send me an e-mail letting me know which elements resonate most with you and which ones do not.
In the meantime, I hope you ExC7eL™ and continue to Live D!perTM.
Maurice L. Rabb