Interest Groups

Do Manipulative, Combative People Achieve Better Career Success? A New Study Sheds Light - Solo Small Firm Practice News

Get the news you want the way you want it: click the RSS button in the right corner to add this feed to your RSS reader, or click here to subscribe to this content. By subscribing, you’ll find this news on your Member Account page, and the latest articles will be emailed to you in your customized IndyBar E-Bulletin e-newsletter.

Solo Small Firm Practice News

Posted on: Sep 15, 2020

Intro by Morgan Decker, Rubin & Levin PC

In our profession, we are taught to be respectful and civil toward the court, toward our clients and toward our fellow practitioners. During a time where everyone is suffering through the added stress of a pandemic, you may have caught yourself being impatient, combative, dare I say, snarky, when you otherwise may not have been.  

The ABA Journal shared this article about individuals who are generally disagreeable and difficult to deal with and whether their difficulty leads to increased success in whatever field they were in. After a 14-year study, researchers found these difficult people were no more successful than those who were more agreeable, generous, and kind. One of the researchers stated “[f]or people seeking power, you don’t need to play dirty to get it.” Although the study was not specifically focused on individuals in the legal profession, researchers found this theory applies in most organizational settings.  

The lesson: Remember the people and the relationships, as they are the most important thing in our lives and our profession. Don’t forget to be humane during a time where doing so is both extremely difficult and extremely necessary.

If you would like to submit content or write an article for the IndyBar, please email Kara Sikorski at


Indianapolis Bar Association (IndyBar) est. 1878 | 4,536 Members (as of 2.11.21)