What Makes Lawyers Tick?®

Tag Archives: Personality

Tea Reading or Testing—What’s the Best Way to Hire?

Posted in Assessment, Feedback, Leadership, Personality, Selection

This post was originally published at the Legal Executive Institute website, a ThomsonReuters site, on July 29, 2015: Amidst the head-spinning change and the increased competition that all law firms face today, there is an increased emphasis on—some say a frenzy to—hire the best people. The cost of making a hiring mistake is growing, and… Continue Reading

Lawyers Are Skeptical — Can You Believe It???

Posted in Leadership, Personality

This post is a reprint of an article that I wrote for the ABA’s “Legal Career Central” website. It was originally published on November 15, 2015: The Lawyer Personality: Why Lawyers Are Skeptical I’ve been gathering data on lawyers’ personalities since the early 1980’s. Personality traits are typically measured on a percentile scale ranging from… Continue Reading

Why Skeptics Make Good Lawyers and Lousy Leaders

Posted in Leadership

I recently finished conducting a 6-month-long “Action Learning” leadership program with a mid-size law firm. The idea is to train lawyers to be leaders by actually placing them into real live leadership situations, and teaching through experience, instead of using a “death by Power Point” approach. At the end of our capstone meeting, one of… Continue Reading

Stress and the Lawyer Brain

Posted in Resilience

I’ve posted before about lawyer negativity and low Resilience. Today I want to address a related topic–How stress affects people in general and lawyers in particular. When we experience a stressful situation, we each react differently. Some people cope really well with stress, take it in stride, aren’t knocked over by it, and recover quickly… Continue Reading

Using Measures of “Critical Thinking” to Select Lawyers: Not such a good idea

Posted in Selection

I belong to a listserv on Positive Psychology, the new discipline that studies the principles that help ordinary people to thrive (instead of focusing on how to “fix” people who have problems.) Someone on the listserv posed the following question to me (I’m paraphrasing here): Can the Watson Glaser (a test that measures “critical thinking”)… Continue Reading

Resilience and Lawyer Negativity

Posted in Change Management, Resilience

Friends and clients who have followed my work over the years have heard me speak often about the personality research I have done with lawyers. Perhaps no other finding is as intriguing as the fact that lawyers consistently score low on a trait called Resilience. What is Resilience? Basically, it’s the degree to which a… Continue Reading

Mindset Makes A Difference

Posted in Positive Psychology

Carol Dweck is a psychologist at Stanford University who studies achievement and success. Within her field, she is quite well known for the concept of “mindset” (also the title of one of her best-selling books). Her idea is simple–people seem to come in two flavors–those with a “fixed” mindset, and those with a “growth” mindset…. Continue Reading

Why Leaders Need Empathy and Flexibility

Posted in Leadership

When I design a leadership course for a law firm, I usually include an assessment component. Effective leaders need to be self-aware–they need to understand their strengths and weaknesses, their possible blind spots, and the style of leadership to which they gravitate. To gain this kind of insight requires feedback. The two most common types… Continue Reading