In this episode, Guy Alvarez is joined by Rachel Hammerman, a business development coach and meditation teacher. Rachel is here to discuss how meditation can help lawyers find satisfaction in the business development process, as well as in the result of a thriving practice. Rachel’s process is informed by nearly 20 years of experience as a PR and marketing consultant and coach supporting hundreds of C-Suite Executives across sectors and industries, ranging from business development and leadership coaching for firms, to thought leadership and corporate social responsibility for LexisNexis, to launching the podcast “Serial” with This American Life. You can connect with Rachel on LinkedIn here or by visiting her website.
Podcast Show Notes
How did you come up with the idea of blending business development and meditation with lawyers?
I have worked in strategic communications for nearly 20 years. About 10 years ago I started my own PR consultancy. I lived and died by client results, and though I was successful, I started to feel unfulfilled and burned out. I took a sabbatical and hired career consultant, Marianne Ruggiero of Optima Careers. Marianne’s coaching process resulted in 3 key outcomes: 1) I found helping individual clients and those relationships more fulfilling than the project outcomes, so I switched from consulting to coaching, 2) Marianne’s spent the last decade coaching attorneys in business development, and given my marketing background, she could train me in her BD coaching process for attorneys, and 3) She inspired me to meditate, which changed my mind and helped me find happiness and ease in my life and career.
Tell us about your feel good approach with lawyers and how you include meditation in that process.
I approach business development with lawyers as a skills training – I coach them to find their own way to do it while focusing on building relationships through helping people. I include Mindfulness meditation in the process because it creates a safe learning environment in the mind – allowing attorneys to bring an unbiased, non-reactive attention to learning new skills and embracing the unknown.
In these challenging times, I recommend this quick-and-easy, “Good2BSocial” way to develop relationships during the pandemic: Check-in with one person you know professionally per day. Where to begin? In the easiest way possible – start with your closest client relationships and work your way to acquaintances and folks you’d like to know better. What to say? Keep it simple. Send one email or text or DM (or call!) and say: 1. Hi, how are you? 2. How can I help? 3. Wishing you well. Remember, when you help others, you can’t help helping yourself.
Business development should be the best part of your day – as Marianne says, “If you like it, you’ll do it. And if you do it, you’ll get better at it.”
How could your process help legal marketers grow their firms?
For firms that have in-house marketing teams, I can provide individual attention for select attorneys, freeing marketers up to focus on their firm’s overall strategies. With my marketing background, I can create individual strategies that support implementation of firm-wide BD and marketing efforts and hold attorneys accountable for active engagement. And in these times, incorporating meditation can help lower everyone’s stress-level and increase willingness to take micro-risks to embrace a new mindset and engage in new behaviors that can lead to business over time.
How much time do you need to benefit from meditating? What time of day is best to meditate?
The latest scientific research points to just 9 minutes of Mindfulness meditation a day to impact the brain in a way that results in stress relief over time. But even just beginning with 1 minute a day can kick-start the daily habit. The best time to meditate is the time when you’ll actually do it! It’s different for everyone – you can experiment with meditating in the morning to start the day with intention or try it after work or at night to transition into the evening or sleep.
Although you may not expect meditation and law firms to go hand in hand, it can be a great method for attorneys to further develop their business, strengthen their relationships and ease stress in challenging times. To start meditating today, listen to the 5-minute meditation at the end of the episode and use this link to receive a free 3-month subscription to Ten Percent Happier, the meditation app that Rachel uses with clients.
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