About Charlène Gisèle Bourliout Charlène Gisèle Bourliout is a health coach, wellness consultant and burnout prevention adviser dubbed the “Soulicitor” by her clients. A former London lawyer, Charlène coaches her clients on personal and professional life optimisation through a combination of high-performance coaching, burnout prevention and mindset optimisation. Charlène Gisèle Bourliout E: email@example.com www.charlenegisele.com 79 JUN 2022 | WWW.LAWYER-MONTHLY.COM EXPERT INSIGHT What changes have you seen in law firms’ attitudes towards coaching since you began working in the sector? From my experience, law firms in the United States have been more open to coaching and viewed it as a competitive advantage; however, due to the cultural differences in London, I found it harder to get buy-in initially. Over the last few years, attitudes towards coaching have changed, and it is now seen as a way to look after the wellbeing and performance of lawyers authentically. The stigma that used to be attached to coaching has disappeared. Now, law firms realise the benefits of using coaching to improve their lawyer and firm performance. Over the last few years, there has been a dramatic shift in the perception of mental health and wellbeing, which has helped improve attitudes towards coaching. A shift in attitude towards coaching is also happening as firms begin to align business decisions with ESG metrics. Coaching is a powerful way to maximise human capital management because it looks to increase performance and profitability sustainably. The only way to do this is to balance and optimise performance and wellbeing. To do so, law firms are now increasingly turning to coaches for assistance. What can legal professionals do to further combat the perceived stigma surrounding coaching? In law, as in many other professions, there is a perception that coaching is a performance enhancer reserved for those at the top of their field. This perception creates a stigma around coaching that can be difficult to remove. However, legal professionals can take steps to overcome this stigma and improve their performance and wellbeing through coaching. There was no stigma around seeking counsel or mentorship from other lawyers when building up my legal expertise – so why should there be a stigma around someone seeking coaching for their professional wellness and performance? All great athletes work with coaches, My mission is for performance coaching to become the legal industry norm, not the exception. and many thank their coaches for their success and make it known how pivotal a coach was to their success. A coach can help you achieve excellence in your performance, give you the winning edge, and build your confidence. A coach can help you develop positive relationships with clients and colleagues. They can provide powerful tools and techniques to manage emotions, build mental resilience and provide an emotional fitness programme. These are the skills which are not taught in law school or as part of a lawyer’s professional development training. My mission is for performance coaching to become the legal industry norm, not the exception – where coaching is seen as a badge of honour as it is in sports. Coaching is the solution lawyers need to sustain a long and successful career in law while maintaining optimised mental, emotional and physical wellbeing.