3  Working effectively with colleagues

The following video highlights different forms of interactions with colleagues in legal workplaces.

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Video 5  Working with colleagues
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Legal professionals often work closely with a range of colleagues. This can include other legal professionals within their workplace, colleagues externally at other workplaces, support staff and also professionals in other fields, such as expert witnesses. In-house lawyers will also work closely with non-lawyers in their workplace.

Working with such a range of people will have an impact on your emotional wellbeing and also the wellbeing of your colleagues. For example, if you are under significant pressure you could end up forgetting to include courtesies such as ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ in your interactions with colleagues and perhaps be more irritable with the people around you. This can lead to colleagues reciprocating or distancing themselves. As a result, individuals may end up feeling more isolated and less well-supported in their work. This could lead to them feeling less engaged and motivated.

The next activity is designed to help you assess your current relationships with your colleagues.

Activity 4  Who do you work with?

Timing: Allow around 20 minutes

Using the boxes below, list up to five individuals who you interact with either daily, frequently or occasionally in your working life. Although your answers will not be read by anyone else, if you prefer you can identify them by initials and pseudonyms. Then pause to reflect on:

  • How your interactions with this individual emotionally affect you.
  • How your interactions with this individual may emotionally affect them.

For each colleague, enter the emojis that best represent your reflections then describe the impacts your colleague has on you and the impacts you think you have on your colleague. After, press ‘SAVE’. Press ‘+’ and ‘−’ to add and remove rows.

Emoji descriptions
🙂 – slightly smiling face 😐 – neutral face 🙁 – slightly frowning face
😤 – face with look of triumph 🤣 – rolling on the floor laughing 🤪 – grinning face with one large and one small eye
😁 – grinning face with smiling eyes 🤩 – grinning face with star eyes 🤐 – zipper-mouth face
🤡 – clown face 😲 – astonished face 🤓 – nerd face
😴 – sleeping face 😏 – smirking face 🙄 – face with rolling eyes
🤗 – hugging face 😘 – face throwing a kiss 😖 – confounded face


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As you work through the subsequent sections, you should return to the results of this activity to reflect on how you could potentially enhance your relationships with these colleagues.

Continue to 3.1 Working in a legal team.

3.1  Working in a legal team