I recently shared a post on Linked In about dealing with bullies in the workplace. It had a very high number of views, I hope not all from people that had first hand experience of it.
Not everyone has someone so extreme to deal with but personalities at work do have a big impact on your day.
This month: The impact of office personalities on your work
There is a place for everyone at work: the shy, the loud talkers, the methodical, and the gregarious ‘people person’. But who do you want to be sitting next to? Modern offices tend to move towards open plan but even if you have your own office then the people you have to interact with on a daily basis make a big difference to your day.
In a good work environment diverse personalities should be encouraged. After all clients are diverse too and with a mix of people you will be able to find the best person to handle each client and make sure that they feel their solicitor is on their wavelength.
Problems tend to arise when the balance shifts too far in one direction and an office is overrun with one type of personality. All team modelling and analysis will tell you that too many of one type of personality will not lead to the best functioning team. Managers, and hiring managers need to be aware of this and work with the people that they have to ensure that balance is maintained.
If one personality type rules the roost in your office then try highlighting it to ‘the powers that be’ and be sure to reference it in team meetings etc. Hopefully others will take note.
Sometimes personalities do rule the roost and if they are very senior as well then it is a question of whether you can flourish in that environment, or you need to move on. Remember that your legal work will always remain as a constant if you move firms (give or take client type, focus, size etc) but next time around be sure to question, at interview stage, who is in the team and what they are like to work with!
Interviews are a two way process for BOTH sides to decide whether they like and can work with the other party constructively, make sure you take that opportunity!