This past year, I’ve been writing and speaking a lot about lawyer personalities (see e.g. here and here.) My basic argument is that the things that make us good lawyers (our skepticism, our aversion to risk, our sense of urgency, our competitiveness, etc.) can interfere with our relationship building.
And relationship building is the foundation of all business development. It is also critical in being an effective leader and in advancing our careers.
[If you want proof that we are different, Dr. Larry Richard
has decades of research on lawyer personalities.]
Thinking and acting like a lawyer is very helpful when we represent and advise our clients. But there are times when we need to wear a different hat.
The Thanksgiving table is one of those times!
Most of us have lots of be thankful for. IMHO, that is the great message of this holiday.
But holidays with family (who may not view the world the same way) can bring out the worst of our lawyerly instincts.
Domestic and international politics can divide families. Arguing about the war in the Middle East or who should be the next U.S. President, is probably not conducive to a relaxing meal.
And it is probably bad for your mental health. (If you are looking for mental health resources this holiday season and you are a lawyer in Massachusetts, check out Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers, Massachusetts).
Stay tuned for more on that subject in the next edition of the Counsel to Counsel Podcast.