4 Tips to Win Favor and Avoid Annoying Your Colleagues

October 5, 2015

Jonathan Gardner offers suggestions for how to gain respect and esteem from colleagues and supervisors in a legal setting

According to Labaton Sucharow partner Jonathan Gardner, new associates shouldn't be tempted to bite off more than they can chew. While they may reason that volunteering for every project thrown at them by partners will earn them respect, it may not be the case if the work product suffers.

Rather, associates should only take on projects if they're sure they can devote their best efforts to them, Gardner said.

"[Associates] think volunteering and being indispensable is what's going to get them ahead, so they end up taking on all these different things, and ... their work product suffers as a result," he said. "Everybody loves a volunteer until the work isn't up to the level that it should be, and then you suffer more than you benefit."

When it comes to problem solving, Gardner noted that not only will doing the research beforehand make it far more likely that help will be given, it'll also boost associates' reputations, particularly if they come to colleagues with solutions.

"I would not want to bring a partner a problem without at least offering a solution to it," he said. "So if you see an issue in a case, instead of going to a partner and saying, 'Here's an issue,' say, 'Here's the issue, and here's what I think the answer is.'"