David Maister has done it again, this time with a great videocast. His subject matter is learning how to effectively motivate an employee, colleague, child, etc. to perform at a higher level. Associates who are learning how to work with support staff should watch this. Partners who want to get better work product from their associates should watch too. Anyone who is a parent will benefit from this brief presentation.
One of the most interesting points that Maister makes is that effective management requires one on one communication. Any effort to manage groups in group settings is likely to be ineffective.
For lawyers, the real challenge is that in most law firms, lawyers are not rewarded for spending time managing; most associates are measured by their productivity (i.e. billable hours.) But taking the time to manage your support staff or associates who report to you has the long term benefit of increasing your own productivity. It just requires a law term view.