Today’s theme is “Align.” The focus is on spiritual well-being. The aim is to provide lawyers with resources to align their professional and personal lives so as to find meaning in their work. Why? Because the data shows that much of the burnout that impacts legal professionals is rooted in a sense that their work isn’t meaningful.
Confession: to say that I’m outside my lane delivering this message would be an understatement. I’m no counselor or life coach, and I don’t even play one TV. That being said, I’ll do my best.
Here’s the video message I recorded this morning. I tried to make three points:
- Incivility leads to stress and burnout. We need to call out the lawyers who are chronically and corrosively uncivil.
- Supervisors: find ways to make your younger/newer associates & employees feel meaningful. Do you define their roles within the team? Do you acknowledge work done well even when it’s work that’s not the most revenue-producing or glamorous, but nevertheless important? Do you know anything about your co-workers’ personal interests? In short, do you make them feel meaningful?
- Younger/Newer lawyers: remember, even if today’s work isn’t what you envisioned in law school, it matters to someone. Whether that’s the client, or, your co-workers’ interest in the office producing good work. Also, years from now, you WILL find yourself in a better position to control whether and how your work aligns with your personal life. Until then, do the best you can now. If you do, each and every moment is an investment in Future You that will help Future You to align work more fully with your personal values.
Fortunately, the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being has provided resources created by actual professionals who are well within their lanes:
- The Texas Bar’s 5 tips on finding meaningful work & improving well-being
- An article on well-being and meaningful work for judges
- A Values Challenge
- Create your own Personal Mission Statement