What’s the biggest, scariest professional change you’ve lived through, and what did you learn from it? What changes do you see coming in e-discovery? We explored these questions and more at Relativity Fest 2016’s women in legal technology luncheon, The e-Discovery Woman’s Guide to Thriving Through Change.
Dorie Blesoff, kCura’s chief people officer, moderated a discussion about resilience and navigating change with a panel of four professionals with a wide range of legal tech expertise. Panelists included Meribeth Banaschik, attorney and solicitor at Noerr LLP in Germany; Monica Bay, fellow at CodeX: The Stanford Center for Legal Informatics and longtime editor of Law Technology News; Yvette Bula, senior director of discovery solutions at Commonwealth Legal; and Cinthia Granados Motley, partner at Sedgwick Law and adjunct professor at Chicago Kent College of Law.
Following the panel discussion, attendees formed small groups to share their own stories of navigating change—switching industries, leaving and returning to the workforce, leading a new team or project—and captured their advice for thriving through it. We consolidated and categorized the group’s nuggets of wisdom to craft these community tips for building resilience:
- Remind yourself that change is temporary—and it can also give you an opportunity to reinvent yourself. Tweet this
- Be flexible, be open, and believe in yourself. Don’t be afraid to try something new, even if it scares you. Tweet this
- Have an “abundance” mentality. Share your successes, failures, and lessons learned to help others grow. Tweet this
- You will make mistakes—that’s a given. Own up to them, learn from them, and move forward. Tweet this
- Get over fear and second-guessing. Be confident with your skills.
Networking & Relationships
- Find your “person”—an advocate who sees your strengths, who won’t let you short-change yourself, someone who will push you to be your best. Tweet this
- Build a broad network of people around you from different industries—they can help you troubleshoot in times of uncertainty.
- Build a closer, personal advisory board of 4-5 people you respect and trust to share ideas and advice.
- Support other women: amplify their ideas, be a mentor and sponsor. Tweet this
- When you have a career and children, you need a supportive partner who understands your career requires more than just showing up at work every day.
Personal & Professional Development
- Do not stay stagnant! Continue to learn. Nurture your curiosity. Tweet this
- Make your own path. Find out what you need to move forward; map out your goals and how to get there. Tweet this
- Learn how to give and receive feedback.
- Work to master something, as opposed to being a “jack of all trades.” Tweet this
- Build and nurture your professional and personal brand.
- Meditate every day. Take time to listen to your internal voice.
- Take a walk or exercise to help reset and get a new perspective.
- Practice self-affirmation (self-talk) and self-reflection (be realistic/honest with yourself).
- Make yourself a priority. Put boundaries on your time or people will not respect it. Tweet this
- If you are feeling overwhelmed, tackle problems in smaller, manageable chunks.
- “Rotate it”—look at your problem from a different perspective. Tweet this
- Keep your emotions in check and explain the facts.
- Focus on an opportunity to make a positive impact—on others, the industry, gender parity, etc.
- Bite the bullet and just do it! Tweet this
The panelists and attendees also exchanged resources that have helped drive them toward success in their careers. Check them out:
- Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck (per Dorie Blesoff’s reference)
- Lemonade: The Leader’s Guide to Resilience at Work by Alan Graham, Kevin Cuthbert, Karlin Sloan (recommended by Dorie)
- Success Under Stress: Powerful Tools for Staying Calm, Confident and Productive When the Pressure’s On by Sharon Melnick (recommended by Dorie)
- Unfinished Business: Women Men Work Family by Anne-Marie Slaughter (per Monica Bay’s reference)
- Carol Dweck: The power of believing that you can improve (TED Talk; recommended by Dorie)
- Amy Cuddy: Your body language shapes who you are (TED Talk; community recommendation)
- Sheryl Sandberg: Why we have too few women leaders (TED Talk; community recommendation)