3 book gems in the Symphony Library of Wonder
A brief debrief
We launched the Symphony Law Seminar Series last week with our first seminar, Untangled. It was a crazy huge dizzying success and I am so pleased and proud and humbled. The feedback was that it was something of huge value that could really help a whole lot of people. That is just what I hoped and I feel so grateful. Our next instalment of Untangled, which will fold in the feedback and really nail things down beautifully, will be in early December. I will announce dates shortly!
The Symphony Library of Wonder
I got some questions about the books I read that feed into the practice and the seminar, and I thought: I must shine a light on these glorious things, since they underlie so much of my work and who I am.
So here is the first of I hope many instalments of the Symphony Library of Wonder.
I am, er, a bit of a reader. And mostly I read non-fiction books where cool people talk about their cool thoughts. I've had that focus for about 15 years now, and the thinking I've drawn from the hundreds of books and articles I've read over the years really does form the foundation of this practice and my way of doing business.
Not in any order, here are 3 particularly special gems in the library:
Book gem #1: Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
This really is a case of a book being popular for a reason. It tells the story of shame, vulnerability and connection and so much of it resonated personally and in my work as a lawyer. At the personal level, it reminded me just how my perfectionist avoidance-prone self gets in the way of connection and real human work that makes life worth living.
Through my lawyer lenses I also saw how much shame factors into disputes and litigation: the shame at being wrong or being seen to give in, the fear of being vulnerable to attack, the release that comes when people in a dispute can walk through their shame and fear and move on from the dispute. This book colours so much of my advice on settlement and self care in disputes. And it's FUNNY! Amazing!
Book gem #2: Drive by Dan Pink
Back when I was a baby lawyer in a big corporate law firm, I read this book and it completely changed how I perceived my role. I learned about the markers of motivation and why I felt so lost in that context, and I began to look for ways to change my experience. I developed a proposal for mentoring juniors that was a win/win/win for the mentors, mentee and the firm's brand. I researched alternative billing practices (research that I've applied directly in this firm). I got excited about practice and I stopped waiting for the organisation to change to fit me.
The book is wonderful because it is clear and interesting, and because the ideas kind of light up something inside you that you weren't sure was still there. It's not self-help so much as insight into complex systems that show us that different - much more satisfying - ways of working remain possible.
Book gem #3: Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
This book did for thinking processes and neuroscience what Daring Greatly did for shame - it revealed several profound truths about how our minds actually work that research has known for ages. I have always found brains fascinating and have read several books trying to figure out how mine works. This book trumps them all. Bonus - there is a lot of discussion of biases and heuristics, which are so fun to learn about yet so hard to correct in your own thinking.
It was really hard choosing just three books for this post. Might have to become a regular feature...
Until next time