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New Hire Tips: Protecting Your Energy From Toxic People

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New Hire Tips: Protecting Your Energy From Toxic People

Circling back for a moment to the subject of toxicity, we discuss protecting your energy from toxic people. Finding the perfect law firm can come with the drawback of also working with some pretty horrible and toxic people. We have a few tips on how to protect your energy from toxic them:

  1. toxic peopleSaying NO. Many new hires feel compelled to befriend and engage every – single – person at the law firm. Some young attorneys do not want to offend any coworker, others want to gain as many allies as possible. Regardless of the reason,  it is important to know that once you recognize that someone is toxic, you have to say NO to them. Say NO to outrageous work requests, say NO to tasks that conflict with directions given to you by your superior; say NO to gossip and backbiting. Do not allow toxic people to take up your energy with their negativity.
  2. Control your time. You may be required to engage with toxic people but when you do so, control the amount of time you spend with them. Set a time limit to meetings and casual chats in the office and break room. If a toxic person is trying to engage you in small talk, excuse yourself to the restroom or any other place after a minute or so – the getaway will cut the conversation short and politely remove you from the situation (for those of you who are not too direct).
  3. No after hours contact. You are forced to be friendly with toxic people during work hours; you are not required, under any circumstances to invite these people into your personal life. Toxic individuals have a habit of trying to force themselves into other people’s lives. Do not allow it. If this happens to you, you have to be firm and say NO  to lunch, dinner, golf on the weekends. Remember, an invitation is not an obligation. Simply say no.

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You will encounter toxic people at your new job.  Do not despair, setting strong boundaries will keep their toxic mess away, and if you still find yourself in the middle of the muck, forward them the series of blog on toxic environments. Subscribe to the Leopard Blog for discussions about diversity, law firm insights, and other relevant topics.

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