Stepping Into Leadership Workshop

A Practical Guide For Women Leaders in Law

If you are a woman lawyer who holds a leadership position or who aspires to be a leader in your firm, organisation, or profession, I have designed this program for you.

I understand that women in the profession still face particular challenges, and that there remains a difference in how women are recognised, paid and promoted.

This workshop will arm you with the knowledge, skills, and attitude you need to take your rightful place in the legal profession. The content has been developed to provide participants with concrete strategies that can easily be put into practice.

I want you to step into your leadership role undaunted, and with a sense of adventure.

The program will:

  • Give you the confidence to create the career you want;
  • Provide you with guidance in developing your own unique sense of self;
  • Analyse the most important behaviours of successful leaders;
  • Help you build a pathway for developing a leadership identity;
  • Assist you to develop a networking plan;
  • Provide you with proven strategies to overcome the effect of gender bias;
  • Suggest strategies for winning promotion and recognition.

The entire program is online and includes:

  • Two morning sessions
  • A workbook detailing all the exercises to be undertaken during the course of the program
  • A coaching session

100% of past attendees rated this course as excellent

The Workshop Day 1

9.00-9.15  Introduction

This session focuses on individual aims for the program. During this session, I challenge each participant to commit to the program. I will ask you to articulate your career objectives and what you want to achieve in our time together. This will include a discussion of:

  • Coaching Goals
  • Getting the Most Out of the Program
  • Timetable
  • Support


9.15 – 10.30  Self Awareness

The first step in successful leadership is knowing yourself.

During this session, you will:

  • Review your career history
  • Identify your values and strengths and reflect on the role they play in your success
  • Assess the skills that have brought you to where you are today, and reflect on the skills you need to build to go forward
  • Examine the various roles you currently play (eg. employee, mentor, partner, family member etc. ) and how each contributes to your sense of identity
  • Consider your larger purpose and how it impacts upon your career choices.


10.45 – 11.45  Becoming an Exemplary Leader

In this session, we will analyse the characteristic behaviours of outstanding leaders and discuss how you can implement these in the workplace. You will reflect on your leadership mindset and the steps you need to implement in order to achieve your goals and communicate confident leadership.

In particular, we will focus on the Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership, which include:

  • Model the Way
  • Inspire a Shared Vision
  • Challenge the Process
  • Enable Others to Act
  • Encourage the Heart

The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership are the result of long term research based on discovering what effective leaders do daily to rally their people and inspire them to work toward a common future.  The research conducted by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner provides a simple and clear set of leadership competencies.


11.45-12.15  Leadership Identity

Leadership competencies are not enough. During this session, we will consider how to develop your Leadership Identity. This will include a discussion of how to re-imagine yourself as a leader and incorporate subjects such as:

  • Developing your Brand
  • Leadership Mindset
  • Building an Action Plan
  • Building Confidence

The Workshop Day 2

9.00-9.15  Reflection


9.15 – 10.15  Networking

Networking has been identified as one of the areas where women miss opportunities. Too many people associate networking with soulless events or acting in a way that does not feel natural or authentic. It doesn’t have to be this way. During this session, you will conduct a network audit and develop a revised networking plan to support your career direction. This will include:

  • Assessing the breadth, connectivity, and dynamism of your current network
  • Identifying current contacts
  • Learning how to build your own professional community.


    10.30 – 11.30  Winning the Leadership Roles

    This session focuses on how to win promotion, how to negotiate for what you want, and how to gain the reward, recognition and respect you warrant.

    So many women say that they don’t want to “play politics”, but getting the top jobs requires an awareness of things other than your technical role.  You need to be able to identify what the firm or organisation values, know how to influence decision makers and be able to negotiate in an environment that may exhibit outdated ideas of gender.

    This session will include a discussion based on case studies provided by women in law. Our discussion topics will include:

    • Beliefs
    • Common Pitfalls
    • Negotiation Preparation 
    • Case Studies


    11.30-12.15  Evaluate & Celebrate!

    During this session, you will reflect on the learnings from the program and finalise plans while setting yourself realistic and achievable goals. You will also congratulate yourself on committing to your career and taking the time and energy to invest in yourself.

    About Cynthia Palmer

    Course Designer and Presenter

    Cynthia is an accredited Co-Active Coach.  Cynthia has trained as a coach after over 30 years in the legal industry as a lawyer, manager and legal educator.  The most exciting roles of Cynthia’s career include the development of a specialist accreditation program for lawyers and driving the growth of an Australian law firm as Chief Executive Officer. As a consultant, she has developed goal-oriented and people-focused programs for major corporations, not-for-profit organisations and boards.

    Cynthia’s training programs and  coaching practice has focused on developing women lawyers as leaders.  Now, her  personal goal is to contribute her experiences to assist  women lawyers gain the confidence and skills they need to have a career – and a life – worth living.

    Program Sources

    Program Structure: “Taking Gender into Account: Theory and Design for Women’s Leadership Development Programs”  Robin J. Ely, Herminia Ibarra, Deborah Kolb.

    Leadership Competencies: “A Coach’s Guide to Developing Exemplary Leaders” James M.Kouzes, Barry Z Posner with Elaine Biech

    Values Table: “Breakthrough” David Carter

    Networking: “How to Revive a Tired Network”  Herminia Ibarra

    Negotiation: “The Shadow Negotiation” Deborah M. Kolb, Judith Williams