In a previous blog I referred to the classical categorisation of professionals:
- Finders – who go out and find the new work
- Minders – who look after the relationship with the clients
- Grinders – who do the work
- Binders – who keep the team working well together
It seems to me that most CPD is focused on enhancing one’s technical knowledge and skills ie: it helps us to become better ‘Grinders’. Beyond this there are some ‘soft skills’ courses but these are rarely tailored to the needs of individuals. This means that the effectiveness of such courses is variable.
The mentoring programme I have developed covers the Finding, Minding and Binding aspects of professional life. My research suggests that the key business skills that fall under these three headings can be summarised as follows:
- Networking – meeting new people and generating work through those you meet;
- Speaking in public – being confident and clear whether talking to small or large gatherings;
- Pitching – asking for work or responding to invitations to tender;
- Closing – gaining new work on acceptable terms;
- Becoming a trusted adviser – understanding how to manage clients so as to encourage the right sort of referrals;
- Handling tough clients – managing difficult relationships profitably;
- Commercial billing – recognising the need to evidence value from the client’s perspective and appreciating the commercial value of our time;
- Developing clients – identifying opportunities to encourage clients to instruct the firm re additional profitable services;
- Managing teams – building trust, confidence and leadership potential;
- Motivating staff – understanding common differences in behaviours, preferences and motivators;
- Delegating – recognising the key elements of effective delegation and what can be delegated to increase efficiency;
- Self/time management – avoiding common traps and keeping an effective work/life balance.
Where appropriate I am also able to lead group development sessions on each of the above topics.