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How do you rate as a listener? Do you, for example, “tune out” because you find the speaker long winded? Or unwittingly, perhaps, display signs of impatience or irritation? Or maybe you turn a deaf ear to certain topics or subjects? If you do these (and more) regularly, you are losing vital cues to help you understand another’s behaviours and real meanings. Instead, you are simply picking up sound waves.
Here are the top 10 tips to help you listen actively:
There is a great deal we can do to cope well in situations which we find (or expect to find) difficult.
To see how the brain works in this context, it is useful to have a close look at the cycle of emotional arousal. This shows how negative emotional arousal can generate unhelpful thoughts, which themselves fuel further negative emotions. Knowing how the cycle works then informs us as to how best to make changes in that situation and so improves the way we cope.
The Human Givens School of Psychology uses the APET model. This is what APET stands for:
We all have a sense of our own comfort zones: areas of our life and experience where we feel comfortable and at ease. Whilst we undoubtedly need a level of stability and consistency, we also have a basic need to be stretched and challenged, not least to give us the opportunity to learn and experience new things, to promote a sense of competence and achievement, and overall to give a sense of meaning in our lives.
Even in the best of times it is a good idea to keep the courts on your side. At the moment it is more important than ever given the increased pressure that judges are under. In a busy litigation department, fee earners can find it difficult to be as organised as they should be, but this is a role which you as a legal secretary are in a position to help with.
The president of the Association of District Judges, Monty Trent, recently identified a number of tips that can help fee earners to get on with their judges.
Corresponding with the court
‘Seek first to understand, then to be understood.’ This is just one of the habits of highly effective people taken from Stephen R Covey’s book. We primarily ask questions to get information, but questions are also a powerful communication tool to show that we are interested in the other person; that we care about what’s important to them; and that we are trying to understand their situation. So here are the top 10 types of questions and how to use them.
Attending court as a Legal Secretary must easily rank as one of the most rewarding and exciting aspects of the career. This is where the Legal Secretary will really start to feel that they are an integral part of the legal system, as a whole, and will gain a full appreciation of how the court system works and the wheels of justice turn within our country
Many of us are sometimes unaware of our body language, especially at times when we are under stress. Body language has a large part to play in situations where we want to feel confident and to come over as such to others. So, it can be helpful to spend a little time being curious about our own tendencies and what messages we may be giving out. Sometimes the messages can be quite the reverse of what we want to convey in a particular situation.
Many people have a tendency to procrastinate. This could be because the task is complicated, you’re unfamiliar with it, there’s a prospect of conflict or you simply prefer to socialise rather than work! But motivating yourself to ‘do’ rather than ‘avoid’ some tasks will result in higher levels of achievement, satisfaction, and increased self-belief and self-esteem. So here are the top 10 tips to help you do that: