cqatth9oyuw-liz-bridgesThe end of this week marks the beginning of December, and we all know what that means…

Holiday party invitations are coming. 

For introverts like me, holiday parties are probably not high on your list of exciting December “to dos” – it’s not that we don’t love them; it’s just that they’re rather exhausting. Extroverts may see them as a chance to enjoy a bit of relaxation with friends and meet new people. But no matter how you view holiday parties, they are definitely a key opportunity to network.

Whether you’re a networking pro or feel like there’s room for improvement, every networking experience is a chance to hone your skills. Recently, we held our Regional Conference of the Americas, and invited David Ackert, President of The Ackert Advisory, to facilitate a type of speed-dating session that we refer to as our “referral rendezvous.” We matched our lawyers in groups of 3-4 people, and they had 25 minutes to talk and connect with each other – some of them have known each other for many years, while others were meeting each other for the first time.

David’s networking tools offered a road map to maximize the time invested in each conversation. These tips are valuable not just for speed dating purposes, but across all networking opportunities, so I am sharing them with you today as we head into a whirlwind season of relationship-building possibilities. 
Continue Reading Holiday Networking is Coming.

LGHS
Working on a project in our high school cafeteria.

After eighteen years, tomorrow marks the first time I’m going back to high school.

Sure, I was in the gym for my sisters’ graduations, but other than that I haven’t actually been back in the building since the day I graduated and headed out into the world, a fresh-faced eighteen-year-old, excited for the next phase in my life. A friend of mine who is now a guidance counselor at the school asked me to sit on a panel of graduates to talk about my life since graduation, and how attending IHA (Immaculate Heart Academy) prepared me for college and the workforce.  We’re speaking to a group of sophomores who are in a special program because of their top scores on the high school entrance exams, and although we’ve each been given five minutes to cram our entire post-graduate lives into a snapshot, all I keep thinking about is “What do I really want to communicate to these girls?”

This is an institution, in an area of the country, where the pressure is on – it’s quite acceptable for the girls to strive for excellence at great sacrifice to their happiness and mental health. Academic rigor is prized – by the school, by the girls, by their families; and add to that the addition of being well-prepped for college by being involved in sports, extracurriculars, and going above and beyond in every way imaginable. I’m not trying to put down the school – IHA was a rigorous foundation for me – the focus on writing and critical thinking meant that by the time I got to college, I had the basic skills so ingrained in me that I was able to focus on what I was really there to do – learn. I was fortunate to have some amazing teachers at IHA from Mr. McLoughlin to Ms. Fritsche to Ms. McDonough to Mrs. Sandt and more, who all cared about challenging me every day to be my best self. They gave me the building blocks upon which the foundation of my education was built, which allowed me the confidence to pursue my interests (rather than strictly the requirements) in college. And as much as I didn’t think of myself as a writer when I started at IHA, the emphasis on writing as a skill has been invaluable to me – first in college, where we also had a strong commitment to writing, and subsequently as a professional, where I write on a daily basis.
Continue Reading Stay Open & Enjoy the Moments: How High School Lessons Apply to Lawyers

In our first "episode" of Wondering Wednesdays, we answer the question "How can you make the most of your memberships?" with three key points.  

//www.youtube.com/embed/Hp7pf2jER-4

To make the most of your membership in an organization, I have the following three suggestions: 

  • Attend events: in-person relationships are the most important part of making any membership