Tag Archives: competence

Situational judgement test: Teamwork

Do you have the confidence to collaborate, seek feedback, share ideas and build credibility through your interaction other people?

An excellent overview of the relevance of teamwork to legal reruitment, and beyod, is given on the page: http://www.wikijob.co.uk/wiki/teamwork. Candidates with good teamwork skills are able to see the bigger picture and grasp the concept that employers value the outcome achieved by a group, more than that achieved by any one person.

You might like to look into certain areas such as:

1. Conflict resolution

http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newLDR_81.htm

 

2. Maximising your contribution (see in particular ‘Belbin’s team roles)

http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTMM_53.htm

3. Using ‘small wins’ to motivate other members of your team

http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/progress-theory.htm

4. Managing in India

http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTMM_18.htm

There is a well-known model of working in groups, which you may be interested in:

http://www.chimaeraconsulting.com/tuckman.htm

Often quoted, Bruce Tuckman’s classic description of the stages of group development is easy to understand and remember, but it helps to go back and look at what’s behind each stage. Tuckman is a respected educational psychologist who first described the (then) four stages of group development in 1965, soon after leaving Princeton.  Looking at the behaviour of small groups in a variety of environments, he recognised the distinct phases they progress through, and suggested they need to experience all four stages before they achieve maximum effectiveness.

The importance of “teamwork” to law firms is described in a very elegant article by Bob Bookman entitled “Teamwork: Outlawing the Lone Ranger Partner”,

http://www.bobbookman.com/articles/article_3.htm

Teamwork is a good mechanism for sharing the workload. Luckily, for the corporate world, most humans gravitate towards team work; they prefer sharing the workload (http://www.helium.com/items/344790-the-importance-of-teamwork-in-the-company ). Humans have discovered, since the earliest of days that many hands make for a much lighter load.  An excellent analysis of why teamwork is otherwise important is given in this article, http://www.the-happy-manager.com/why-is-teamwork-important.html.

Teamwork also constitute an important part of competence interviews later in the assessment process:

http://humanresources.about.com/od/involvementteams/a/team_questions.htm

 

To take the LegalRecruit Situational Judgement Test on teamwork, please click here.

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Situational judgement test for training contract applications: communication and negotiation

Can you communicate fluently, clearly and concisely? Persuade and negotiate with others in both group and individual situations? Make complex information understandable to clients? What will you do if you find there are problems with communication?

A really helpful website is at http://law.gsu.edu/Communication/  Entitled “Effective Lawyer Client Communication: 
An International Project to Move from Research to Reform”, the authors describe that the goal of their project is improve lawyer-client communication by combining what has been learned so far within legal education with empirical social science research. We have selected the initial client interview as the focus for the pilot project. The initial interview is, of course, the one unit of service that is constant across all forms of legal service delivery. It is also one of the most critical units of service. The initial interview: (1) shapes client perception of the lawyer; (2) defines the service to be provided in terms of both problem and goal; and (3) is an important opportunity for client education, e.g. confidentiality, substantive legal rights, what the client can do for himself or herself, and the need to preserve evidence.

Professor Clark Cunningham is the Director of an international collaborative project, based at Georgia State University, on lawyer-client communication: Effective Lawyer Client Communication (ELCC): An International Project to Move from Research to Reform, http://tinyurl.com/64csb2g.

The goal of this project is improving lawyer-client communication by combining what has been learned so far within legal education with empirical social science research. The project has the potential to change the way client communication is taught around the world.

Prof Cunningham refers to William Felstiner, former Director of the American Bar Association:

“He gathers from these sources the conclusion that lawyers frequently fail to treat clients with respect, do not consider the nature of interpersonal relations with clients to be an important aspect of law practice, are motivated more by financial returns than by professional values, are inaccessible and unresponsive, are poor communicators, do not know how to deal with clients effectively, are indifferent to clients’ feelings, and are indifferent to the pace of clients’ legal affairs.”

Irene Leonard has produced “‘7 steps’ for effective communication”:

http://www.coachingforchange.com/communication-skills-for-lawyers.html

She comments that:

“The practice of law is highly dependent on good communication skills, especially persuasive verbal skills. Mastering these seven keys will allow you to connect with your clients in a more meaningful way and solve problems more effectively. You will have more successful presentations and depositions. Even interactions with your staff will be improved.”

To take the LegalRecruit situational judgement test on communication and negotiation skills, please go to this link.

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