Employee Performance: How to Improve, Track, and Measure the Quality of your Workforce

Jay Henderson is the owner and founder of Real Talent Hiring. His company is dedicated to helping clients take the guesswork out of people performance using their one of a kind objective metric system Real Talent. Unlike many hiring assessments, the Real Talent Hiring Assessment helps employers evaluate candidates based on performance-focused metrics, which are universal, rather than behavior-based data that can and does change with mood and manipulation. Jay has helped mega-giants and Fortune 500 companies on down to solo and small law firms improve the quality of their workforces.

In this episode, Jay and I will discuss:

  • The 10 Toxic Thinking Patterns and their function in your law firm
  • 3 Key Questions for all employees: Can they do the job, Will they do the job, and Will they do the job to your specifications
  • 5 Steps to Human Decision-Making Theory
  • What differentiates the Real Talent Hiring assessment from the DISC, Kolbe, Meyers-Briggs and other assessment tools
  • The weight to be given to an Assessment versus other screening/hiring data
  • The interplay between Actions and Results in employees
  • Creating sustainable change over time
  • Coaching to optimize performance

To participate in the Nation-wide Law Firm Benchmark study: lawfirmbenchmark.com.

For more information on how Real Talent Hiring can help improve the workforce at you law firm contact Jay’s team for a FREE consultation, call (877) 863-7133.

Real Talent Hiring
Jay Henderson, Owner and Founder
Email: Jay@RealTalentHiring.com
Website: https://RealTalentHiring.com

Allison Williams: [00:00:05] All right. Jay Henderson, thank you so much for joining us today on the Crushing Chaos with Law Firm Mentor podcast. 

Jay Henderson: [00:00:11] Love it. Glad to be here. Thanks for having me.

 Allison Williams: [00:00:14] So I always love talking to you, Jay, because you’re such a wealth of knowledge on hiring, on team performance, on optimizing the people that are the lifeblood of our business in a law firm. And so today we’re going to actually talk to you a little bit about what I consider to be the magic genius that I found several years ago, which is your assessment. So we know that you are the owner and founder of Real Talent Hiring as I introduced you. And it’s a very powerful company, powerful tool that you created, this Real Talent Hiring assessments. I want to learn a little bit about your company and also how you help lawyers through what you do.

 Jay Henderson: [00:00:51] Great. I’m excited to talk about me. And you.

 Jay Henderson: [00:01:02] Am I supposed to be talking about Real Talent Hiring and what we are?

 Allison Williams: [00:01:07] You are. Since you’re so excited to talk about you. Talk to me about you.


Jay Henderson: [00:01:10] It’s one minute thirty seven seconds in. And that’s where we can edit.

Jay Henderson: [00:01:17] I’ll go. Yeah. So Real Talent Hiring. You know, I named the company that because there are just certain X factors, if you will, that people have.

Jay Henderson: [00:01:28] And if you can identify those X factors, what I call real talent, then you’re able to connect, you know, the capacities, the performance abilities of your candidate to the actual job that you have. There’s a lot of abilities or different organizations out there that measure very differently. But I feel like we get at what’s really critical as it pertains to performance in a job role. And so that’s why I called the company Real Talent Hiring.

 Allison Williams: [00:01:59] All right, so I have known you now for several years and I consider myself so lucky to have found your company, because I think your assessment tool that I now use exclusively when I am looking to hire people for my company is really just a mark of genius. I really want to talk about that. So first of all, let’s talk about assessments in general. Why would somebody choose to use a hiring assessment as opposed to just diving deep in an interview process, asking some probing questions, going through the process of checking references? Why why even bother with an assessment?

 Jay Henderson: [00:02:32] Yeah. Great question. I mean, I think people have really discovered that trying to determine who you should hire is very difficult. And you can flip a coin and, you know, you’re gonna get it right about 50 percent of the time. You know, I think actually that the numbers show it’s somewhere in the range of thirty five to forty eight percent of the time people are able to identify the right hire.

Jay Henderson: [00:02:57] It’s just extremely difficult. We just don’t know what we need to know about people. So we just try to dive deeper and we do some sort of analytics, i.e. what I call behavioral profiles that are in the market in order to try to learn more about people to understand who they are and make the best decision. Turnover is extremely expensive. We know that. And we’re, we’re trying to use our gut and our intuition. And I’ve had people call me and say, you know, I’ve been hearing about you for five years, but I’ve been lucky so far. But last year, I made two hiring decisions that cost me a small fortune. And I decided, you know what, I’m going to do this right from now on. I’m going to call Jay, who I keep, you know, anyway. So it’s just not easy. It’s not easy for anyone. And we need more. We’re so used. It’s kind of like I call us the TV generation. You know, we’re we’re so used to using and think of social media as well. Like we go on social media. We see people, we see pictures, we see what they want us to see. You know, we don’t know the real person.


Jay Henderson: [00:04:03] And. And so that’s why I think that people do try to dive deeper, which is very wise.

 Allison Williams: [00:04:11] Yeah. So assessments are a great way of diving deeper, like you said, because there is so much risk in making the wrong hire. But if we were to sit down and look at all the options out there, I mean, nowadays anyone playing on social media can find at least a dozen of these tools out there. You know, there’s that DISC. There’s the Kolbe. There’s the Myers-Briggs. I’m sure a lot of us have heard of those different types of assessment tools. Can you kind of talk to us about the different types of assessment tools and why you why your Real Talent Hiring assessment is qualitatively different than those other options that are out there?

Jay Henderson: [00:04:45] Yeah. Right. And there’s a predictive index and there’s the Link-Up idea. I mean, there’s so many different tools out there. And what’s different is what they measure and how they measure.

 Jay Henderson: [00:04:58] So they measure behavior. And a lot of times they’ll tell you, well, we might, we measure motivators.

 Jay Henderson: [00:05:07] And yes, they do measure motivators after they identify behavior. It’s the only way they know how to do it. And so, you know, they do a basic subjective, get a couple of psychologists together. And I’m not by the way, I’m not critical of any of these tools at all. Personally, I like all of them. It’s kind of why I landed in the world I’m in and do what I do, because I’ve always been fascinated with what makes people tick, particularly how do people learn and how do they translate that learning into performance and especially under pressure. That’s been my fascinating study for 30 years. I studied sports psychology and things like that. I just, I just have always liked people and I’ve always been into what makes people tick and what makes some people successful. So I landed in this world, so I like all the tools that are out there. But when you’re making a hiring decision. What do you need to know about the person?

 Jay Henderson: [00:06:00] Well, it’s not what their behavior is, as much as it is what kinds of decisions are they going to make? What is the quality of their judgment? Can they problem solve? Are they consistent? Do they have emotional control? Are they one of the 10 toxic thinking patterns, right? So, I mean, it’s it’s amazing because we can identify people that might even have a toxic thinking pattern that maybe can perform well in a job. Too many of us are looking for, can they do the job? And we don’t ask the question, will they do the job?

 Jay Henderson: [00:06:47] And then we don’t further ask the question, how will they do the job? Because if they can do the job and they will do the job, are we going to like it? I had a guy come to me and say, you know, I want to hire this woman as an intake specialist. And I said, well, she might be your number one intake specialist, but you’re not going to like it. You know, she’s going to be a pain, you know. So I saw him at a conference about a year later. He walked up to me. He said, hey, remember Songza? Yes, I do. And he said, she is my number one intake special assistant. That’s awesome. Great. You know, and he goes, I can’t stand her. I said, well, you know, hey, have her, because you can measure her performance daily, have her do it from home. Right? If it means you get the result you want, right. So anyway, he said, I’ve been thinking about that. Well, the point to your question, though. These other tools, while they’re great, they can’t measure these things I’ve mentioned, you know, emotional control, judgment capacity, consistency in decision making.


Jay Henderson: [00:07:45] They just don’t know these things and they don’t measure risk. And I do. And that’s one of the key differences. So they measure behavior. But you’ve got to know that there are. I’ve tried to say this easily, of course, but I know everybody that’s listening is smart and can handle it. But but there’s like five steps to human decision theory. The first one is perception. And so this is what we see and what we miss. So, Alison, you have talents that I just do not have. When, you know, if you and I were both looking at the same strategic scenario, you’re going to see things that I’m just not going to see because they’re your natural biases. It’s your gift to see those things, you see. And so then after you see those things, the next step in the human decision is our brains do a little thing called associate. That’s how our mind knows. We’ve seen this before. We get it right. Then the next thing is our brain analyzes what we’re looking at. Then the next thing is we make a decision. So it’s fair to say, right, that you can’t make a decision till you’ve perceived something. I mean, like you can as a boss, walk up and say, I need you to do X and I want it to look like this. And we only have like 15 minutes.

 Jay Henderson: [00:08:57] Can you please do that? And they say, sure. And then they go do that and they come back to go, okay, what’s next? And you can say, now, go do this and make it look like this. And it’s 30 minutes, you know. And so you can, that’s called GOFOR delegation. Go for this. Now go for this. Now go for this. And so we can do that. But that’s not the kind of people we want to hire. We want to hire people that are right that can do it on their own and make their own decisions. So the brain perceives. Then it associates. Then it analyzes. Then it makes a decision. And of course, all that happens depending on their experience level. In a split second. But the perception part is the key element there. How good is their perception? Do they see what they need to see as it pertains to the role? That’s why that’s why we like to hire experience. So then after decision, people take action. And then they get a result. So ninety nine percent of the tools, I would say, and … I’m not a statistician about this, but I mean, you know, 90 percent, whatever. The point is, they measure behavior and they measure at the action level.


Jay Henderson: [00:10:09] And then they interpolate backwards to try to determine. So am I going too deep? But that’s what happens. So…

 Allison Williams: [00:10:16] Yeah. I don’t think you’re going too deep at all. I love the I love the five steps of human decision making theory because I think a lot of times you’re right. People do start with the action and they don’t start with the perception, which, of course, arises from our thoughts. Right. And a lot of times when I’m having these conversations with people about what coaching is, I talk about the idea that it’s about changing your thoughts, not changing your actions, because the actions will continue to repeat themselves through the disordered thought process. If you don’t change that.

 Jay Henderson: [00:10:45] Yeah. Right. Like like if you want to change the result. We got to reverse engineer the decision process, don’t we? Because we keep getting the same results. Because we keep making the same decisions. Because our perception doesn’t change. Our natural biases is what I’m talking about. Like you, as a consultant are going to give your coachees, your your clients different ways of seeing things so they can make better decisions. But what if also you can help them understand their natural biases and their natural decision making so that they start to see those things on their own all the time? And when we’re hiring, we we you know, we have to understand down there that natural bias of the perception level, because that’s what is going to create the decision, which is going to create the action, which is going to create the result. So that’s why what I do, that’s why so many of my clients love what I do. That’s different, because what I measure is different. And the way we measure it is different. And we’re getting at the core elements of what performance, so see, because I can measure perception, I can predict performance because I know what decisions they’re going to make. Because I know what they see and what they miss. That make sense?

 Allison Williams: [00:12:09] It does make sense. And, you know, it’s one of the things, that it’s one of the things I love about your tool. But it’s also one of the things that frustrates me the most. As somebody who uses your tool religiously and and I tout its praises to everyone, so I’m not going in any way to suggest that I’m not biased here. But I love the tool. And one of the things that comes up is, you know, you have been very generous that you give a call with with an assessment when you’re trying to help someone extrapolate, should I hire or should I not. And all of the all of the thoughts come to mind. Well this person thinks this way, this person decides this way. Their judgment is impaired in this way. And my thought goes to, well, what about these five different scenarios? Where’s that going to show up? If it shows up in scenario number one, not that bad. If it shows up in scenario number five, that’s my license, right? Right. Right. And you always say, I can’t tell you where it’s going to show up. This is who the person is. Right. They could be like this, you know, on a bad day when they’re under a lot of pressure. They could correct around it if they’re working around it. If they are if they’re conscious of it and and have enough practice working around it. But I can’t tell you that. And so there’s a lot to be said for it. Go ahead.

 Jay Henderson: [00:13:17] Yeah, there is. And but also, you know, because we know the thinking we can sort of block that situation, that might be a license loser. You know, what I mean? Like we I know that, you know, Jay is gonna do X, therefore, Jay, hey, man, don’t do X.

 Jay Henderson: [00:13:36] So here’s how we, you know, here’s how we manage around that.

 Jay Henderson: [00:13:39] But, you know, it’s interesting because people were complex, right. And we all know that. And we can’t predict perfectly. There’s no tooth fairy out there. But it’s remarkable what we can predict. You know, like, for instance, a behavior profile will give you like a DISC, a Kolbe a Myers-Briggs to your earlier points, really great information about people that can help you understand them and help you communicate with them and a good team building type information, you know.

 Jay Henderson: [00:14:07] But they’ll never reveal the risk that, you know, if if I could come up with an analogy, it would be great, like it can tell you, you know, maybe that there is a storm that could potentially happen one day. Maybe it can’t tell you there’s a storm. I’m gonna tell you, hey, there’s gonna be a storm. And here’s where that one is gonna happen and here’s where it’s gonna happen. But not perfectly and not every time. But it just turns out that when you’re measuring people, unfortunately, you know, we can identify the problems and the risks easier than we can predict perfect performance. But if I’m if I’m better at blocking the problems, by default, my capacity to make better decisions goes up dramatically. Right. That makes sense? So I yeah, because I reveal risk. I can say to you. Hey, you know, this is gonna be a problem. That’s gonna be a problem. And this is what is going to be the situation. Then we are just gonna make better decisions. So rather than getting it right 30 percent of the time, I’m saying let’s get it right, 70 and 80 percent of the time. We’re never gonna be perfect.

 Allison Williams: [00:15:24] So it sounds like in addition to not just deciding yay or nay, there’s a little bit more complexity involved in it, where you actually can think about this type of scenario would be a risk factor for this type of person based on their thinking process. And I can start planning for what type of work I will give them and what types of environments I would I would subject them to. Is that correct?

 Jay Henderson: [00:15:46] Absolutely, yes. You know, it’s amazing. In corporate America I’ve done a lot of team building work going into Cisco Corporation with 10 or 20 people on a team and doing communication workshops and real time coaching and so on. And in that world, they don’t really hire and put people in positions based on their natural thinking style. They don’t do that even when they learn it, because there’s just too many legal variables and things like that. I’m not saying it’s illegal to do that. I’m not saying that.

 Jay Henderson: [00:16:21] But, you know, if I go in and try to get a job as a project manager, but my true gift is, let’s just say business development. You know, but let’s say there’s no business development position. And I really want to work for that company. And there’s a project management role open. I might go for it.

 Jay Henderson: [00:16:43] You know, and but I’d be the worst I would be terrible in that role. You know, you don’t want me doing that for you. It’s like if I say I love cooking. Oh, my gosh. It’s like my favorite thing in the world. Let me be your chef. You know, and you don’t have to do that anymore. And you can go be a world class lawyer and you don’t have to worry about cooking or making your breakfast and lunch and what have you. I’ll get all that ready for you and I’ll package it up and it’ll be like. You got lunch every day. No problem. You know, you might say this sounds fantastic, you know…

 Allison Williams: [00:17:18] But then we taste your cooking.

 Jay Henderson: [00:17:20] Until you taste it. And then you’re like. This guy is the worst. Oh, my gosh. So anyway.

 Allison Williams: [00:17:27] So, Jay, you reference this a couple of times in talking that, you know, what would work for you or what wouldn’t work for you. So it sounds like you’ve taken your own profile.

Jay Henderson: [00:17:35] Oh, yeah.

 Allison Williams: [00:17:36] Yeah. So do you recommend that owners take their own profile when they are trying to understand not only who to hire for their business, but particularly if you have a small law firm, you know, the people that you hire are going to have to interface at a much more intimate level than if you’re at a large corporation. So do you think that the ownership also have the assessment in addition to the people that they’re hiring?

 Jay Henderson: [00:17:57] I do. I don’t think it’s critical for hiring. But I, you know, because when I reveal a candidate to an owner and say this is what they’re gonna be like, for instance, when we do that together, you and I, I say to you, this is what they’re gonna be like.

Jay Henderson: [00:18:14] If I didn’t know your thinking style, your profile, you would still know more about them and whether you want to bring that into your world or not. OK. But it it if I do know your profile and like I know yours, then I can make it even tighter, fit a better connection. I can say to you, it’s better. It’s easier for me to be able to say. Yeah, you know, that really might not even bother you very much. This risk that I’m seeing probably not going to bother you at all, you know, but this risk really is going to drive you nuts. This is going to wear you out. Like, for instance, I’ve had attorneys call me and say I’ve hired an attorney.


Jay Henderson: [00:18:53] They’ve been an associate for three years. They’re fantastic. I want to make him a partner. Should I do that? And I say, no way do you want to do that. And it has nothing to do with that other person’s talent or capacity. You know, it’s just a matter of the fit. So it’s really powerful to understand.


Jay Henderson: [00:19:15] It can help. It can it can make it more accurate and it can help a tremendous amount. Not to mention the fact that, you know, think about you, Allison, you’re a development person. You’re always growing, you’re always learning. So you’re going to want to know this about yourself in order to maximize your leadership capacity to make your company more profitable and more successful. And so as an executive coach, you know, there there’s helpful information that can come from understanding. I literally just came back from a lunch with an attorney. This is really rare. I know this guy personally. I’ve known him for like 20 years. He called me up and he said, hey, I want to chat and have lunch. He’s a very successful attorney. He did some work with Brad Pitt in New Orleans and all this stuff. And so anyway, we we had lunch and he said, I really want to understand myself because I’m thinking about going in these different directions. And he had he took the profile on just you know, we had lunch and we had a very, very powerful conversation about himself and what he wants to choose going forward. And so it’s it’s fun that way, but it’s it’s valuable.


Jay Henderson: [00:20:15] It’s not critical, but it’s really valuable and helpful.


Allison Williams: [00:20:18] And I will say it’s valuable. It’s a little painful. The first time the first time I took the assessment, I didn’t tell Jay I was taking it. So, you know, I had my I had my I.D. and I had been giving it out to candidates to take the assessment as necessary. And then I took it one day saying, I wonder what this under the hood is going to say about me. And ouch. Boy, I was like, wow, I need to be fired. But.


Jay Henderson: [00:20:45] Not true. Not true.


Allison Williams: [00:20:46] But it was great to see. It was really great to see how amazingly accurate it is. I mean, it just it gives you so many qualitative pieces of information that I don’t think most people would ever even think through that. You need to know about the people that are gonna be working not only with you, but for you. So talking about this assessment in terms of the weight that we should give it, how do we know, you know, how much of the hiring decisions should be placed on the assessment? Meaning let’s say we’ve met somebody, we’ve gone through multiple interviews. I always recommend multiple interviews and we’ve gotten a lot of information. We’ve checked references. The references have corroborated the negative and positive information we were provided. We think this person is a real top talent person. We get the assessment. We have some conversation with you and there are some concerns there. But nothing that says don’t hire, but there’s just some concerns there. And the concerns are sticking in the back of our mind. How much do we put on the assessment? Is it 50 percent of the decision? 10 percent of the decision? Where do you where do you fall on that?


Jay Henderson: [00:21:54] Yeah. I think that the EEOC gives us some important legal guidelines, like that we can’t use a tool of this nature for more than I’m going to say, twenty five percent of the decision. Frankly, I can’t remember anymore. It might be 30 percent. But nonetheless, you get the point right. It’s like it’s not legal to base your hiring decision on these types of tools fully. You can use it as obviously as part of the data.


Jay Henderson: [00:22:22] So now and that’s the legal clause of that.


Allison Williams: [00:22:29] Well, we’re talking to lawyers. They’re gonna love to hear that.


Jay Henderson: [00:22:32] Yeah, well, you know, my my personal view after doing this all day, every day for over 12 years with attorneys around the country, is that. The beauty of it is we know what we never would have known before. So you can at least know what you’re getting yourself into. You know, you date someone for five years and decide to get married. You know a lot about that person. And you’re going to and you’re saying to yourself, yeah, well, hey, I’m going to marry her anyway. I’m going to marry him anyway. I mean, I love them. You know? That’s a small example there. But but. So it’s hard to put a number on it. I hear it the way I typically say it is. Look, you can take, the beauty of the way we measure is it’s very, very, a lot of people say eerily accurate, shocking, scary, spooky. Those are the words I hear all the time. And so the beauty is that you can. I can say to you. And it’s a mathematical measure of something that doesn’t change.


Jay Henderson: [00:23:38] And so you can rely on it. So I say, well, one, let’s… this could be 100 percent accurate, but that doesn’t mean they’re gonna be 100 percent successful in the job.


Jay Henderson: [00:23:54] So I look at it like I’m you know, when I translate that human being, the data from the scores into the job, I’m going to say I’m going to lose accuracy. I can’t predict perfectly, but even if the profile is totally accurate, I can’t predict perfectly. But some little roundabout way to get to your answer here. But you know, nonetheless, you can rely on the data to be accurate. So we hire them, we put them in the role you’re going to see. You are going to see the stuff that the report says is in this person, you know. But doesn’t, again, doesn’t mean they can’t do the job and it doesn’t mean they won’t do the job. There’s always outliers. But I think that you should put a ton of faith in the report and what it says. And then, you know, maybe a different question is like if it says don’t hire them. Should I not hire them? No. No, that’s not true. You don’t. I mean, we can. We can’t put one hundred percent in. Hey, don’t hire this person. It really doesn’t say don’t hire them. Right. But let’s say it did.


Jay Henderson: [00:25:08] You can’t. You can’t do that. But on the other side of the scale, there’s two sides against the answer is that, yeah, this is gonna be them. They are gonna do X, Y and Z. And I keep using the word do like it’s behavior, but it’s not behavior. I can say that because I know what they think about. Like an example is I’ve got a brother who works for my dad, runs my dad’s small business and my brother decided to go back to school. So he went to Duke to get an MBA. And then my dad and I were having lunch about halfway through my brother’s program. And my dad was like, yeah, you know, it’s like he’s gonna go out and get a different job and that’ll be exciting. That’s very good. I said, no, he’s not going to he’s not going to go get a different job. It’s not going to happen. You know, my dad’s here yesterday. He’s he’s going to. No, no, he’s not. And he never did. Never did. So there’s this thing you can know that are helpful anyway. Really. A lot of rambling there.


Allison Williams: [00:25:57] But no, I think it makes the point. I think. You know, like you said, the degree of accuracy of this test is actually, is absolutely shocking. And it’s not just beneficial for deciding who to bring on the team. It’s also beneficial for deciding how to get the best performance out of the people that are there. Right. Because for most of us, we own our small law firms. We want them to grow. And as we grow, we’re gonna have to grow through people. And so as we add people, the goal is not to add people who see a problem, say, yep, that report was right and get rid of them. The goal would be to bring a person in knowing what you’re getting from having the assessment and then taking that information where necessary to be able to optimize the person’s performance in whatever way is best for the role that they’re occupying. So let’s talk a little bit about that. So how do you help lawyers that, they’ve hired somebody, they know what the assessment says. They know that there were some less than perfect attributes because none of us are perfect. And then it’s time to have something happen in the business. And the person is not performing right. The person is not delivering at the level you would like them to. Can the assessment be used as a coaching tool. And if so, how would you be able to assist a lawyer to get the best out of their team member with the assessment as a guide?


Jay Henderson: [00:27:14] Yeah. Well, so definitely you can use it because you know what they’re seeing and what they’re missing.


Jay Henderson: [00:27:22] And you know, the areas where there, where they have talent and where they don’t yet have talent. And so because you understand that and know that, you know specifically what to work with them on so that they can perform at a higher level. Before that, you know, having having, you know, like I ran the central United States for Steven R. Covey as it pertains to the First Things First book launch and clients.


Jay Henderson: [00:27:57] And then I went for, He wrote The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and First Things First. Now and then I went to another organization where we taught leaders and managers, how to coach others to hire performance. And so kind of like knowing the profiles, real powerful in terms of coaching, because we know what people are paying attention to, what they’re not paying attention to. If we can get them to pay more attention, performance is always a result of attention, period. Always. The more attention you put on something, the more you’re the more powerful you’re going to perform there. So if you have coaching skills. Which is pretty important. You know, along with the profile, then it’s it’s very, very powerful in helping people get to a different level. But again, now you got a backup even more. Do they want to? So I said, can they do the job? Will they do the job? Will they do the job for you? And if I the more I get people out of their natural hardwiring and bias, the less they’re going to perform. So trying to force them, you know, you can.


Jay Henderson: [00:29:03] It’s been said by a great old public speaker named Jim Rohn. You know, you can take your ducks to Eagle School march them across the stage, give them the diploma. But they’re still going to be ducks. You know, that might sound rude. And I believe in people and I believe in development and I believe in improving for people and and people improving and getting better. I’ve sure changed over the years in terms of my capacity. Right. But I’m highly motivated to change. Some people just aren’t.


Allison Williams: [00:29:35] Yeah. And that’s the sad thing. You know, I. One of my best friends. We talk about this all the time. She also owns a law firm. And she said that one of the greatest discoveries that she made and how to be happy at work is to accept that people are only going to rise to the height of their expectations, not her expectations. And so if they expect that they are going to do B-plus work, she cannot expect that they’re going to get A work. And know that that’s going to happen. They’re not going to do that. Right. Right. So you see that today, except that that’s where they are. And you can get them to the height of their own expectations or ultimately you have to move on. But, you know, it’s interesting when we talk about coaching people, because obviously, I know that you have helped lawyers through the program that you had, the inner circle. You were helping lawyers actually learn the skills of coaching their team so that they could make their their their teams more proficient. But how do you deal with. And I know that you have a tool for this. So I’ll I’ll I’ll go ahead and kind of cue that. How do you deal with a person that says, you know, I found you Jay, you know, after I’d already been hiring the wrong way for 15 years. And now my law firm’s at a place where I’ve got, let’s say, 10 to 12 employees and I want to get the best out of the people that are here. I don’t want to fire anybody. Right. We have some hiccups in performance. But, you know, I really just want to kind of see under the hood of everybody that’s here and see how we can get everybody moving in the right direction, rowing in the same in the same direction. So with that, is there some type of protocol you have where somebody wants to give the assessment out to everybody and then kind of see how you can get your team kind of moving in a better stead?


Jay Henderson: [00:31:13] You bet. Yeah. Simple people. You know, the team completes the exercise. I get on the phone with the owner and describe, you know, what’s really going on in the team, kind of a workforce analysis, you know, matrix and make sure that there’s clarity about what is needed in order for. Let’s say that the owner has certain goals they want to achieve. And I’m looking at the team and I’m saying that’s going to be a struggle unless the owner is really on top of that all the time. And they might be saying, hey, I want to be a lawyer. I don’t want to. They might say, I don’t want to coach people, you know. So, yes, understanding the team and who who’s leaving the organization. And I can help the business owner do that and make sure that that firm is, as you’re saying, the team is rowing in the right direction. So there’s a lot to it and understanding that natural bias and thinking style really goes a long way toward that.


Allison Williams: [00:32:09] Yeah. So that, of course, deals with the team. But of course, the owner is is at the center of it all because the owner is constructing his or her universe in their law firm. So what do you do with a situation where you have a law firm owner that has a lot of their own biases? Maybe they’re very rigid and dogmatic or maybe they’re perfectionistic and perhaps they might not necessarily be seeing things as globally as they could with people that have talent are just not living up to it because of the way that they’re being managed. Is that something that you also work with?


Jay Henderson: [00:32:38] Well, yes. But I mean, you know, again, it goes right back to what the goals are, what the biases are and how much how much time and energy they want to put into those kinds of things. What I would normally do is, you know, either have them call you and work with you or hire some coach that can help them keep that attention where it needs to be, because that’s what it comes down to. Right. Like we talked about before, you know, keeping the attention. It’s interesting. It’s like, you know, change has been a big word. How do we get behavior change? How do we get people to change? How do we get them to perform better in the corporate world? It’s a big, big word. You know, corporate change and all this stuff, you know?


Jay Henderson: [00:33:19] Well, it turns out that sustainable change is a function of paying attention to the critical variables of that change over time. Over time.


Jay Henderson: [00:33:34] So can someone with a certain way of thinking be different and perform differently than their what I what I’ve been calling their natural biases? Absolutely. Absolutely. You know, for a short time I can be different than who I am. I can do different things than I normally would want to do, because I might have some level of good judgment. You know, I can do a good job where I normally wouldn’t, because I don’t want to. See what I mean. But over time, you know, it needs sustainable attention over time. So that’s why having an executive coach or a powerful consultant like yourself, you know, really helps tremendously because we’re like all the way back to the decision theory discussion we had. We just aren’t going to see everything all the time and having that other set of eyeballs. Right. It’s like easy analogy. You know, Michael Jordan had a coach. You know, the pro golfers have coaches. Well, part of that is that a pro golfer who has maybe what they would call a great golf swing, you know, so that they can get that ball where they want to go all the time consistently.


Jay Henderson: [00:34:43] They have swing coaches. They have sports psychologists. Right. So these are different people that are helping them pay attention differently to critical variables.


Jay Henderson: [00:34:54] And just a quick example, you probably don’t need to hear, but there is a guy, Rory McIlroy. OK. And the dates and everything is going to kind of escape me. But I think it was in April of 2011, he had something like an eight shot lead in in the Masters, I believe. Yeah, April’s the Masters. So he had like an eight shot lead on the last day.


Jay Henderson: [00:35:14] Well, he ended up losing by four or eight shots or something like that. Which means for those of you that are not golfers and don’t care about golf, that basically not only did he not excel that day, but he went backwards. OK, big time. Somebody else did well and well, then two or three months later, he went out and won another big major, the U.S. Open. He won the U.S. Open. And I think it was by like twelve shots. So everybody said, hey, Rory, what did you do differently? Like, what’s the difference? Well, first of all, he came away from that first loss with a lot of humiliation and learned a lot. And he, but he choked mentally. He just couldn’t handle it. I’m gonna win a million and a half bucks and a 10 year exemption on the tour and probably get all these endorsements. He was going to win ten or twenty million dollars if you win. So that freaks you out if you haven’t been there. Right. Can’t handle it. So they asked him what’s different? He said process and spot. That’s what that was his answer. When the media is like, what did you do differently? He said, process and spot. Two words. And they’re like, well, what’s that? Well, anyway. And he said, I paid attention to the process better and I paid attention to the spot on the green when I putted better. That changed everything. It’s just those little things about attention.


Allison Williams: [00:36:36] Yeah. And they are little things but those little things really make the big difference. I mean, that’s kind of the whole idea of coaching. A lot of people think, OK, you’re going to come in and you’re going to like beat me over the head and give me five thousand different how to’s. And the answer is no. I’m going to take what’s already there inside you. And I’m going to shift the focus so that the focus now is focused on the things that really matter. And those are the things that are gonna accelerate your performance and business.


Jay Henderson: [00:36:59] Yeah. I mean, you’re not performing. Friend, whoever that is, you know, because you’re paying attention to everything.


Allison Williams: [00:37:09] And getting overwhelmed by everything.


Jay Henderson: [00:37:10] You’re overwhelmed and you’re. And then, you know, the number one problem for high-performing people is over trying. And they over try because they put too much meaning on what they’re doing or they’re overwhelmed with too much attention because there’s too much meaning, then they’re over trying. So anyway, you know that we’re kind of off the topic a little bit, but that’s OK, because. Right. So. So having someone help us back it down and pay attention to the right stuff consistently over time changes the game. Yeah.


Allison Williams: [00:37:40] Yeah. So, Jay, I know that we’re coming to the end of our time together, but I just wanted to talk to you a little bit about this wonderful tool that you have created, this assembly of data that you are in the process of now. Because I know that you are collecting national data on law firms and the people in law firms. And so I want to talk to you a little bit about that. You know, your your website, law firm benchmark dot com is a place where lawyers can go and create or rather provide information to you about their law firms and about people in their law firms. And I know that you’re collecting that to be a benefit to the legal profession. So can you talk to us a little bit about that?


Jay Henderson: [00:38:18] Yes. So this is a research project where we’re measuring how, you know, we’re trying to identify the key success factors, the differentiators between success and failure in three roles, paralegals, caseworkers and intake specialists.


Jay Henderson: [00:38:34] And so what we’re doing is we’re asking law firm owners to go to this website, click on this link and take one minute to answer a few simple questions that are just click this yes – no, boom, boom, boom. Real simple stuff. And for every case worker or a paralegal or intake specialist you have and if you have 10, it might take you, I don’t know, maybe 20 minutes, 30 minutes to do this. And if you have 2, it will take you about seven minutes, probably. And then when you when you rate your team members, which is what we’re going to ask you to do. We’re going to ask you to rate would I hire them again or not. Pretty simple, straightforward question. No big deal. We’re going to then write you back and say, hey, thank you. Please have these folks go online, complete this 15 minute exercise. And when they complete this 15 minute exercise, we’re done. Then we on our end have the data and we’re gonna be giving gifts to attorneys that will participate with us and help us to complete this nationwide benchmark. We need it. We need we need the data.


Allison Williams: [00:39:44] Yeah, well, of course. Who doesn’t love a good gift, right? We all love gifts. But even more important than that, I think it’s really it’s just the value of the research that you’re compiling, because in our profession, we do a lot of things based on data. And I think the more data that we have about how we are assembling people in our law firms, the more we can mitigate risk, the less likely we are to have grievances and malpractice and the happier our work environment can become because we’re staffing it with people that we actually can get along with. Who are going to do not only, those are the three parts that, they can do the job, they will do the job, and they will do it in a way that serves your interests as the law firm owner. So again, everybody that’s law firm benchmark dot com. And Jay, one final comment before we close out.


Jay Henderson: [00:40:28] What you said is awesome because I had earlier said we’re not going to get every hire perfectly every time. Right. But what my clients reveal to me is they say, you know, we didn’t nail every person every time, but over the time I’ve been working with you, my culture gets better and better and better. And because the culture is better, everyone’s performing at a higher level.


Jay Henderson: [00:40:46] We’re more productive and they’re like they think they’re making more money and, you know, so greater profits.


Allison Williams: [00:40:51] So I can personally attest to that. I own the Williams Law Group in addition to owning Law Firm Mentor, and my company has gotten substantially better over the time that I have known Jay. So, Jay, thank you very much for all of the positive impact you have had for me as well as for my clients of Law Firm Mentor and everyone. Thank you so much for joining us for today’s interview. Again, you are listening to Crushing Chaos with Law Firm Mentor the podcast. Everyone, have a great day.


Jay Henderson: [00:41:15] Thank you. Have a great day.