I'm doing a PhD and I have two people listed down as my supervisors for the project, who I will call supervisors A and B. I get on really well with supervisor A, he makes constructive suggestions in a constructive way, and I always come out of meetings with him feeling better about my work. In many respects, I couldn't have asked for a better supervisor than A, and I feel I can be quite transparent about how my work is going with him (including discussing soft skills like working effectively from home during the lockdown, managing time and so forth). Supervisor B is several decades older, extremely well-regarded in the department, had numerous awards named after him and has made significant contributions to his area from what I gather. Things have panned out so far in such a way that I've seldom needed to meet supervisor B in order to make progress with my work - technically he is listed as a supervisor for my research project but it's more of a "he pops in when he's interested"-type arrangement.
However, the main reason I prefer to stick with meeting supervisor A is that I often encounter supervisor B around in our department and he has a way with people which comes across as incredibly abrasive and overly critical, often casually undermining people in conversation, asking questions to people in a condescending way or even just making unnecessary verbal "snipes" at people. He is infamous in the department for this, and has supervised many of the academics when they were PhD students, but it seems that nobody has pulled him up on his rudeness because of his authority (when it comes to him supervising students) and his academic reputation. Many anecdotes about him from his former students have originated, for example, in reacting badly and inappropriately to former students of his having children, going on holiday or taking part in extracurricular activities during their doctorates with him. These are normal things that people can expect to do without being penalised by most (sane) supervisors. Supervisor B is incredibly knowledgeable, and has some interesting stories to tell, but is not an enjoyable person to be around and I try to avoid meeting him unless I absolutely have to (once every couple of months versus once a week with supervisor A).
However, because of his reputation, people have alluded that a reference letter from supervisor B would be a golden ticket to get a postdoc/industrial position wherever I wanted, as he is an incredibly well-established name in his field. This leaves me torn as to whether I want to involve him much or not in the project. As far as I am aware, not including him in meetings regularly does not seem to be posing supervisor B (or A) any major issues, apart from a whinge on supervisor B's part once or twice which ended without any repercussions. If I did involve him regularly it would certainly benefit my career in getting publications with him and a recommendation letter from him in the end, but being supervised by him regularly would have a negative impact on my confidence and mental health. I'm a mature student in my area (so I'm rusty with some things), so I already lack confidence in my abilities and could do without someone potentially making me feel worse.
Some may diagree, but I feel that it is vital that a PhD supervisor is someone who you can establish a positive and professional working rapport with. I think it's often an aspect of doing/choosing PhDs which is often not talked about, despite PhD students effectively needing to work with the same person for 3-4 years and there being many "horror" stories of students who have quit or failed as a result of clashes with their supervisors. One of my former professors from during my undergrad also told me that the rapport/personality of a supervisor is just as important as the research area, if not more (although obviously there's no use having a supervisor you get on really well with but whose research area/interests don't line up with yours).
I'd be interested to hear about any input on this - am I dodging a bullet here or simply shooting myself in the foot career-wise?