Age differences and the shift to extroversion as a management challenge in law departments

Meyers-Briggs assessments show that younger generations are becoming increasingly extroverted, a person who is energized when with other people and who does not like to be alone. As related by USA Today, June 7, 2006 at 2B, people born before 1964 are split 50/50 between introversion – they become drained by social encounters and need time alone to recharge – and extroversion. So-called Generation Xers (born 1965-81) tilt 59 percent toward extroversion while Millennials (born after 1981) are at an even more extreme 62 percent [none of them are lawyers, yet].

If this shift toward extroversion holds for in-house lawyers, senior management will have a hard time understanding the sociability needs of younger lawyers; those lawyers won’t understand why the older lawyers want to close the door and work alone. The extroversion gap will call for tolerance and understanding on both sides.

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