An article in Wilson Quarterly, Vol. 31, Summer 2007 at 66, compares aggressive behavior in men and women. “Psychologists have found that while men channel their aggression through purported ‘rationality’ (interrupting, criticizing unjustly, questioning others’ judgments), women are more likely to use ‘social manipulation’ (gossiping, backbiting, ostracizing) to get what they want.”
To the extent such broad and general differences apply to particular in-house lawyers, those who manage them should moderate aggressive behavior that detracts from the department’s effectiveness (See my posts of Jan. 7, 2006: passive-aggressive behavior; Oct. 10, 2005: succession competition; and Jan. 19, 2008: general counsel as a bully.). What is probably difficult it is for a general counsel of either sex to pick up on aggressive behavior by staff members of the opposite sex.