Kat shares 7 guiding principles

REIQ Legal Counsel Katrina Beavon was the guest speaker at the QLS/Day One Recruitment Inhouse Lawyers Breakfast this morning. Photo: Geoff McLeod

REIQ General Counsel Kat Beavon revealed her DISC profile showed she “apparently had zero empathy” but she kindly shared her guiding principles at today’s Queensland Law Society (QLS) In-house Lawyers Breakfast.

Also the REIQ Company Secretary and mother of three boys, she entertained the Brisbane and livestream audiences with her challenges and learnings working for the “second last, least trusted professionals”.

“It is a challenging job in the sense that the community doesn’t favour us, their own colleagues don’t favour each other and our own members don’t think there is value in being with us,” Kat said, who clarified the REIQ was not the governing body (a common misconception) but a voluntary membership focused on training and education.

Kat joined the REIQ in 2019 and felt like “lone wolf” as it was her “very first gig at inhouse”. She started out dealing with the advisory department then “embraced” managing the membership team, the Realworks platform and legal advisory. She also helped the profession navigate the challenges brought on by COVID, creating resources and tools.

“So it goes to say I’m a sucker for pain but I will take you on the journey with me anyway,” Kat joked.

“So what are the emerging challenges? Every day is a new day. It is different every day and as in-house this is the awesome thing about our work where we don’t know what’s going to happen.


“I’ve stopped asking in-house ‘so what you specialise in?’ because we specialise in all!

“Whatever comes our way, it’s what we do and we do our best. At the end of the day, we are the key accountable individual within that matter so I think it is one of the greatest things about what we do.

“We (REIQ) deal with property changes, legislative changes and public perception and I think one of the hardest things in my role, which is the matter I can least control, is the people and culture. We are all different.”

And that’s where the DISC profile comes in. Kat found her team of six were all empaths.

“So every day I get in the car and go ‘find that empathy’ … these are the type of things I think about on a daily basis. I need to make sure I speak the language that my team resonates with to ensure I get the job done.”

Kat also keeps refreshing her communication skills which includes attending a leadership and beyond course by Martin Moore – twice – and listening to his No Bullsh*t Leadership podcasts. He talks about seven pillars in how to be a great leader.


So this information from Your CEO Mentor helped Kat focus on the guiding principles “which have changed my life since starting at the REIQ”. They are:

  • Work at the right level – Create a team that you can trust so you can focus on work you should being focusing on.
  • Master ambiguity – Trust your muscle memory. Create your own resources. Tick off your daily job list.
  • Handle conflict – Spend time trying to understand people. “A lot of people think DISC profiles don’t mean anything and are just fluff but it is what you make out of it. Really understanding the people you work with helps on the journey as in-house.” Speaks to your departments. “Sometimes you have to opt for respect over being liked on a given day.”
  • Make great decisions – “One of the hardest things as we do as counsels because sometimes making great decisions doesn’t always feel good. Our role is to align with our strategic objectives and do what’s best for the business.”
  • Build resilience – Focus on what you can control. “I think resilience can’t be taught you have to go through it and you have to really persevere and test yourself and trust yourself and go through the motions.”
  • Drive accountability – “One head to pat, one arse to kick. Simple.” One person is accountable. Take ownership.
  • Deliver value – really understand what you bring value to the role.

Kat said the first six principles really wrapped up into the final one of providing value and that was the question that practitioners should ask themselves every day.

Kat also reiterated Chief Justice Bowskill’s recent advice at a networking event to “trust yourself”.

“You, as in-house, have the ability to make a change to every department. Trust yourself. You deserve to be where you are hopefully the seven pillars will help guide you through your day today and make some difference.”

QLS Councillor and Chair of the In-house Counsel Committee Phil Ware thanked Kat for the presentation, saying it was “most engaging and enthusiastic from someone who is not an empath”.

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