Lots of firms want to have one of their lawyers — often a trial lawyer or rainmaker who’s “really good with people” — to facilitate their retreat. Johnnie Moore and Viv McWaters, in a new eBook (.pdf) on Creative Facilitation, explain why that’s not such a great idea:
Is it best to use an internal or external facilitator?
It can be hard work being an internal facilitator, especially in a specialized industry. If you are known to be a subject matter expert’ it’s hard for people to think of you as a facilitator. There may be more pressure on you to know the answers. You might also have a stake, or vested interest, in the outcome of a workshop and might subtly, even subconsciously, influence the thinking and decision-making to align with your views.
Most lawyers have heard the old saying, “He who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client.” I’d argue that the same is true for partners facilitating their own retreats.
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