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As a general counsel, try a “walk-around” to find out what your key clients think about you and the department

During a recent consulting project, the general counsel said that about two years ago he had systematically met with nearly two dozen of his department’s major clients. He had asked all them basically the same questions – “How are we doing?” and “How can we do better?” – and compiled the results.

I commend this practice. It’s all well and good for a general counsel to pick up comments here and there from clients. Such remarks have immediacy and value. Far better, a deliberate effort reaches key constituents, tells them ahead of time what you want to hear about so they can prepare, compiles a fairly comprehensive picture of client opinion, and thinks about it as a whole — a far superior practice.

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