With any profession or industry, confidence is the key to gaining respect and trust among your colleagues, clients and peers. In my 20 years of legal practice and nearly a decade in Legal Recruiting with Lucas Group, and currently as Executive Senior Partner, I have encountered a number of professionals, both on the client and candidate side, who have either succeeded or not succeeded due to these character traits.

Confidence vs Arrogance: Understanding the Difference

While a bit of self-promotion is necessary to land a job or further your career, it’s important to understand the difference between confidence and arrogance and maintain a humble sureness in your demeanor. You want to accurately communicate your skill set, experience and value to an organization, while not teetering over the line of arrogance. In an interview setting, a humble, confident demeanor can set you apart from other professionals with the same knowledge and skill set. Likewise, once you’re on board at a new firm or corporation, or in your current position or leadership role, use your expertise to mentor your peers and provide insight and guidance to help your organization succeed.

The candidates whom my clients find most attractive are high-caliber professionals who convey a demeanor of quiet self-assurance in their knowledge and experience, as well as belief in the success of their individual practice. Exuding confidence in their every word and action, these candidates, while often well-known and well thought of in the legal community, are extremely gracious and value others’ time and effort.

In my experience, I’ve found that arrogance has no place in a professional environment. Whether you’re a first-year associate, senior partner at a law firm or the in-house legal counsel for a Fortune 100 or 500 company, it’s important to demonstrate respect and compassion for others, whether it be by returning phone calls or simply saying, “Thank you.” If you are confident in your industry knowledge, know your line of business and listen and work with others as a team to achieve common goals, you will certainly attain great success within your organization.

Have you ever experienced arrogance in the workplace? Share your thoughts below.