Lawyers and their personalities

We had a really interesting session at Bristol’s KN-UK yesterday lunchtime all about personality types and how to understand them, and a discussion about how we could all apply this to help us work more efficiently and smoothly with lawyers and other fee earners.puzzle-head

Graham Mitchell of T2i was, as usual, a very interesting and engaging speaker. If you need an organisational psychologist to help your law firm I heartily recommend him.


What were my big takeaways?

  • Personality is a preference: it’s the way people naturally respond to situations.
  • Although one’s preference is clear, even from age 8, it isn’t prescriptive. We can all learn ways to curb our instincts to mitigate the worst consequences of our natural preferences and it mustn’t use it as an excuse.
  • No particular preference is good or bad. They all lead to strengths and weaknesses. The important thing is to understand your personality and adapt how you react in situations, adjust what needs adjusting, in order to work effectively.
  • Although there are many forms of analysis, mostly they revolve around 5 main dimensions:
    • extraversion,
    • agreeableness,
    • conscientiousness,
    • openness to new experiences, and
    • emotional stability.

We also discussed practical ways we could approach working with results/outcome focussed, creative/ideas driven, people/relationship driven and analysis/details focussed people in order to work together more harmoniously, which gave us all some great ideas to put into practice straightaway.

If you are interested in coming along to a KN-UK training lunch, there may be one near you. It is a great, cost-effective way to get local tailored learning for law firm KMers in a friendly atmosphere.

We have events in Bristol, Birmingham and Manchester and interest in setting up a Sheffield group (but we need more people interested there first). All the info about KN-UK is available here.

Sign up for the KN-UK mailing list to keep up to date and watch out for the annual topics survey to make sure that the topics you are interested in are covered in 2017.

And of course – if you have enjoyed this post, please share using the buttons below and sign up to receive the next post.

About knowledge4lawyers

I am a lawyer and a Knowledge Management expert. Through The Knowledge Business I help law firms improve their efficiency and profitability through knowledge services - consultancy, training and implementation help.
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3 Responses to Lawyers and their personalities

  1. Helen it sounds like a fascinating session — sorry I couldn’t be there. I wonder if you covered archetypes or how people transition, if they ever can, from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset?

    Best wishes

    • Hi Julian, you would have enjoyed it, although I know this is something you are very knowledgeable about already. We didn’t cover growth mindsets, although we did discuss how “preference” was no excuse for unhelpful behaviour in the workplace and we should all be making an effort to understand ourselves and others better. It was mainly a practical session, discussing our challenges and how we can all improve our interactions with each other to get our goals achieved in a more understanding and helpful way.

      • Helen I still think law firms have a long way to in understanding their people. Anything that helps in that process, has to be a good thing. Best wishes Julian PS. Have you had a chance to look at the work of Frederic Laloux on self-organizing companies? I think you’d immediately see the relevance to your work and how KM could continue to drive forward the success of the firm.

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