“All in a Days Work”

Over the last few weeks I have been more and more involved with how legals/contractuals/commercials work for the business, and found the following rules to navigate my day to day really useful. Nevertheless, I think the following list is a great guide for all roles to follow. They also act as a good reminder on how to deliver good customer service as well especially during Customer Service Week! :

  1. There will always be enough work to go around 24/7/365 – but that does not mean you have to!
  2. You do not need to respond to every email immediately – and some, not at all. Be kind and sparing with the “cc’s”.
  3. Say it and write it as simply as possible – get to the bottom line asap. The more “wordy” the more it obscures what you are asking.
  4. It is alright to say “I don’t know” – don’t bluff your client or colleague.
  5. Learn to say “not now.” Control your day as best you can.
  6. Smile. Have a sense of humour.
  7. Recognise true emergencies and huge priorities, and deal with them as needed.
  8. “To Do” lists are fine, but realise and recognise that priorities will shift and sometimes without notice. This is okay, just remember it is about focusing on what is important and what desperately needs to be done there and then. Be pragmatic and flexible about it.
  9. Listen – make sure you understand what people (colleagues and clients) are asking you to do and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Likewise, when you do ask a question don’t feel bad about it – better to clarify at the time and get right, than charge off and not actually know what you have to do.
  10. Learn the business- have an understanding of the portfolio – we are involved with some amazing projects, clients, contracts!
  11. Volunteer. Get out of your comfort zone. *Think about the risual foundation, the Diversity and inclusion Forum, the Tech Forum, etc. Its good to be involved with something that isn’t related to your day to day role.
  12. Deliver bad news and good news – fairly and honestly. Keep an even keel. Sometimes, you need to tell people what they need to hear and not what they would like to.
  13. It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. Tone is important, and remember tone cannot always be read and picked up over email the way you intend it .
  14. Don’t be afraid to be wrong – just use good judgment to get there. We all get it wrong sometimes, but learn from it and move on.
  15. Eat lunch. Everyone needs a break. And by Lunch I mean not just a chocolate bar but an actual balanced diet with fruit and veggies in it.
  16. Drink Water! Stay hydrated- and not just drinking caffeine! The evidence is that being hydrated is associated with better cognition and mental performance, and helps combat tiredness and fatigue.
  17. Don’t work on your annual leave time unless there is an emergency (clearly set boundaries as to what is defined as an “emergency”).
  18. Sometimes you have to use outside counsel (for example the likes of accountants and law firms)– just be smart about it and tell them how much time you want them to spend on your project.
  19. Don’t let the boss be surprised.
  20. Don’t over-promise; let the client decide priorities. Remembering Legal/Contractual/Commercial doesn’t run the business.
  21. Show your math. The business runs on numbers.
  22. Be nice.
  23. Bring a solution, not just the problem.
  24. Pick up the phone. Not everything has to be an email plus its always nicer to hear a familiar voice (remember point 13 I raised!).
  25. Everyone needs help now and then – don’t be too proud to ask, but also don’t judge those who are asking for help either.

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