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Professional Development

Study Matrimonial, Civil Partnership and Family Proceedings Law

The Institute of Legal Secretaries and PAs features a range of single-subject legal courses which are designed to provide you with a good understanding of one specific area of law. Whether you are already working within a certain area of law and want to advance your knowledge, or you would like to secure a position in an area that interests you, ILSPA’s single-subject legal courses are the perfect way to focus on exactly what you want to learn in order to have a successful career.  

Managing Conflict in Meetings or Presentations

We have all, at some time, encountered the steamroller and the sniper. ‘Steamrollers’ are aggressive, hostile and intimidating; they don’t listen, they talk over what anyone else may have to say and they bludgeon others with their views and demands. ‘Snipers’ are far more insidious; they seek to undermine, often indirectly, and pick fault.

Are You Assertive?

Everyone recalls a time or a particular situation when we wish we had been more assertive. Assertive communication is all about putting our point of view over – clearly and calmly, free from the distortion of mood or circumstances – so that we can best communicate how we feel about something and what we need as a result.

Health and Nutrition Can Improve Your Studies

 One of the biggest concerns for anyone studying a course is finding the time and motivation to commit to it. This is easier for some people than others, depending on a number of different aspects which are prevalent in your life. One of these aspects is having a good diet and being healthy. 

Don’t Try to Manage Time, Manage Your Activities

You can’t really “manage” time, which is why I’m not the biggest fan of the term “time management”. I use it only – and then only very reluctantly – because that’s the term most people are familiar with.

But in actuality, the only thing you can control is what you do with your time; you’re really managing your activities, not your time.

This may seem like a silly distinction, but this small shift in thinking can profoundly and positively affect your productivity. 

Negative Thoughts in the Witness Box

Challenging unhelpful negative thoughts is a skill. These thoughts are not facts, and by challenging them we can differentiate between what is real and what is distorted emotional interpretation. When we temper and control the emotional black-and-white thinking, which comes from an agitated emotional brain, we can better access our thinking rational brain (our higher intelligence) and see things with a far clearer perspective. This is good emotional intelligence, not least because it is fair, realistic and balanced.

Unhelpful Thinking Tendencies (Part II)

Once we are aware of any one or more unhelpful thinking tendencies, we can then begin challenging unnecessarily negative thoughts and practise using different language which better reflects the shades of grey of reality, training the brain to move further away from instinctive black-and-white (emotional) thinking. Here are some examples of some typical black-and-white thinking styles and possible contrasting ways of looking at things.

Being Aware of Unhelpful Thinking Tendencies

Unhelpful ThinkingThe conscious (thinking) brain and the subconscious (emotional) brain

Our brain is a complex and fascinating organ. The thinking (conscious) brain operates at an intellectual level, giving us perspective and good problem-solving capability. When it works in healthy harmony with our emotional (subconscious) brain, we function at our best and can be at our most robust and resilient in dealing with whatever life throws at us. Research has shown that the emotional brain processes around 2 million pieces of information every second. In contrast, the thinking brain can hold only between five and nine things in conscious awareness at any one time. So, of necessity, all the pieces of information that the emotional brain deals with (like blinking, regulating blood pressure, telling us when we need food, etc., as well as the range of feelings and thoughts which it generates) need to be filtered before being brought into conscious awareness. The brain’s own filter mechanism is capable of developing and retaining unhelpful negative processes, the three most usual culprits being deletion, distortion and generalisation.


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