Leaving the Law To Be A Better Lawyer? Part 3

Leaving the Law To Be A Better Lawyer? Part 3

As I introduced in my first blog post, I have recently taken a secondment away from my General Counsel position to manage a team within our Go-to-Market function.  The second post discussed the challenge I faced around leadership and building credibility from scratch. 

Having now settled into the role a little more, I have had the opportunity to look back and realise some of the early mistakes I made (some being the operative word – I am sure there’s more I don’t even know yet that I would have done better!).  In the next couple of posts, I am going to talk about how losing sight of some of my existing skills and knowledge made life harder than it needed to be, starting with the art of communication.

Are you speaking my language?

I have always enjoyed the art of written communication.  I genuinely believe it’s an art.  The ability to find the right language and tone to express your point – sometimes forcefully but without being blunt or rude, other times with the right degree of humour and irreverence. It is an absolute bedrock of how we get things done.  People judge you, often before they’ve met you or spoken to you, just based on the way you have deployed these skills.

Naturally, therefore, I did not believe that one of my challenges would be how to get my point across in the right manner.  Rightly or wrongly, I considered myself to be a relatively good communicator, taking pride in my written style and equally comfortable having a conversation one-to-one or in a group.

However, no matter how good a communicator you are – written or verbal – it does not help if you are not speaking the same language as your counterpart.

Lawyers (including me) tend to write, and talk, in prose.  That’s perhaps a polite way of saying we’re verbose, but it’s inarguabl

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About the author:

Louisa leads marketing for the in-house legal community at LexisNexis. She joined the dedicated in-house team at LexisNexis four years ago and has a passion for driving and facilitating initiatives which are customer-focused at their heart. Her vision is to support in-house counsel succeed in their fast-evolving role based on deep insight, data analysis and best practice gathered across the in-house community.

Prior to her in-house focused role, Louisa led the marketing for the bar and mid-market private practice sectors as well as product marketing lead for LexisPSL – LexisNexis’ cloud based, practical guidance and legal research software solution.

She brings 20 years’ marketing experience both client and agency side, specialising in B2B marketing in the Legal, TMT (Telco, Media and Technology) and Financial Services industries. In both South Africa, Europe and the UK.

Louisa is also an active member on the LexisNexis Gender Equality Matters (GEM) steering committee and is involved with the Families at LexisNexis Group which brings together, supports and lobbies for change those with an interest in balancing the challenges of work and family.