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Let Out a Battle Cry: How to Motivate Your Law Firm Team

Before a game, basketball players huddle up, touch fists, and let out a battle cry.

Football, baseball, volleyball, soccer, and virtually all team players do the same. It is a ritual, perhaps born in a time when tribes assembled before going out to hunt or battle.

So what's that got to do with managing a law firm? Well, maybe it's time to huddle up and motivate your team. It has to start on the inside because it's a war out there.

Leadership

Team spirit doesn't usually happen spontaneously. It requires leaders -- those people who call others to rally around.

"As a leader within your organization, people are going to look to you to set an example for the rest of the group," says Jayson DeMers, founder of AudienceBoom.

"You're going to be setting a tone, a work ethic, and a set of values for the company whether you mean to directly or not, and setting the right example can have a meaningful effect on the mentality of your group."

You don't have to start the day with a battle cry, or even a fist-bump, but leadership takes shape when it involves others.

Socialization

To work well together, people need to do things together. It's about creating a collective sense of teamwork.

"Great teams are comprised of great individual team members," DeMers writes for Inc. He says the perfect employee doesn't exist, but a team can be greater than the sum of its parts.

Team-building activities -- even group lunches and occasional office parties -- can help. The motivation comes from the socialization.

A group hug may not be appropriate, any more than a conga line, but an informal team meeting is basically a huddle.

Rewards

Football players are famous for their victory dances, those stylized moves they rock in the end zone after scoring a touch down. It's a good thing in a law firm, too, in a symbolic way.

Everybody wants monetary rewards, but we also crave recognition. "Employee of the Month" is a badge of honor for some.

Todd Patkin, a successful business owner and author, said that his company rewarded workers by expressing gratitude to them. He said it starts with leaders, spreads to employees, and reaches to customers.

"All of that is great for business," he said. "In other words, gratitude is a motivator and catalyst for growth that money can't buy."

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