The legal industry is renowned for the high stress levels experienced by those who work within its realms. Statistics, published by the Health and Safety Executive in the UK on work-related stress, place legal professionals in third place behind “welfare professionals” such as nurses and midwives.
These statistics highlight the depression and anxiety suffered by those in the legal industry, and suggest that the main reason for this is due to workload. Strict deadlines, too much work, pressure and responsibility are the significant factors which lead to stress at work.
Of course, it’s not just work that can impact upon stress; poor diet, lack of sleep, and little or no exercise can cause stress levels to spike, especially if work is particularly difficult at that time, and often means our ability to cope is undermined.
Our resilience to stress depends upon our physical and emotional capacity to deal with these daily issues. Our ability to adapt to change, face adversity or deal with confrontation is improved when we have a high level of mental and physical resilience. A resilient individual seems able to overcome problems with ease, manage challenges, and succeed against stacked odds.
Fortunately, people are able to learn how to become more resilient, and law firms have begun to realise the importance of offering their staff resilience training.
Here are a few of the ways resilience training will help your law firm:
Resilience Training and Proficiency
Resilience is often seen as a core leadership quality.
Within the Armed Forces those officers that display higher resilience were frequently promoted ahead of time, coped with tougher roles, and achieved higher ranks than their counterparts with less resilience.
The same principles apply within the legal sector.
Lawyers who have completed resilience training (or those who were lucky enough to be endowed with natural resilience) often attain higher grades at university, achieve a high professional standing, and are less fearful when it comes to trying something new or taking on a challenge.
Lawyers today need to be more than just good lawyers; they must learn to overcome trials and tribulations, should be confident communicators and networkers, and remain open to opportunity.
Resilience training will encourage these key skills, ensuring proficiency within the workplace.
Resilience Training and Motivation
We’ve all met those people who seem to be naturally buoyant, no matter what life throws them, and have witnessed how they remain motivated towards their goals – even in the face of adversity.
These people have understood the importance of long term goals, or, put another way, they can see the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’.
Resilience training teaches lawyers to recognise this ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ and to put aside setbacks or impediments. While it can be difficult to compartmentalise, especially if under burgeoning levels of stress, resilient lawyers tend to limit any psychological damage by preventing overspill from one area of their life into another.
They remain motivated towards their goals no matter what difficulties present themselves.
Resilience Training and Attitude
When we experience a stress producing event many of us ‘catastrophise’ the event in our mind. We might imagine a worst case scenario and let this image linger in our mind consequently, disempowering us, and reducing our ability to focus and act.
Resilient lawyers don’t do this.
They tend to modify their thoughts; changing their attitude to the problem, or stress inducing event. This allows them to maintain a flexible and accurate style of thinking, letting them take purposeful action while remaining in control of their emotions.
Their ability to influence others has not diminished (as they have not succumbed to the catastrophic mind-set), and they are able to remain inspired with a positive attitude.
A law practice that instigates, and promotes, resilience training for its employees, will encourage lawyers to become inspirational, effective, and energised – all of which are good news for your firm.