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QEB Hollis Whiteman Chambers

This case study may be useful if you are looking for examples of developing resilience training schemes.

A ‘listening project’ set up to provide assistance to other members of chambers.

There had been a feeling for some time that they were not sufficiently focused on wellbeing within Chambers. A very sad accidental death, and the personal problems of a few members, caused some to wish to take much more positive and proactive action.

What was the business (other case) for action?

They identified that there was very little support offered within Chambers for those undergoing any type of personal problem or wellbeing issue, despite considering themselves a friendly, sociable and supportive set.

 

 

They noted that it was a point of some pride that anyone, no matter their seniority or lack of experience, could feel confident enough to ask other members of chambers for advice about professional legal or ethical issues.

However, they were not doing the same for more personal problems. They felt that this was a failing and something that was capable of improvement.

 

What did the Chambers do?

They got in contact with Angus Lyons, author of ‘A Lawyer’s Guide to Wellbeing and Managing Stress’. Angus gave a very useful talk to Chambers on Wellbeing generally, and provided a recommendation that we seek specialist advice on how to listen and give advice to others, to be delivered to a cross-section of chambers by someone trained in this issue. He also suggested they appoint a Wellbeing ‘Champion’ to oversee the project. Further research was carried out with contacts including those suggested by the Bar Council and the Circuit, and quotes obtained from several providers for delivery of a bespoke training course.

 

Eventually, they settled on a talk by Anastasios Argyopoulous, a qualified clinical psychotherapist. Anastasios gave an excellent talk on the sort of listening and advisory techniques that can be deployed to best help those friends and colleagues with well-being issues.

Following that talk, those who attended created a ‘listening group’ of members of chambers who were actively prepared to talk to others on a non-judgemental and open basis about any issues that they had.

 

“QEB Hollis Whiteman are at the start of their wellbeing journey and this is a great place to start. The introduction of active listening training to support members is unique and something to be applauded.”

Wellbeing at the Bar Working Group

What were the results?

Those who attended the talk on ‘listening techniques’ were all very impressed and benefited enormously from a chance to discuss openly how to go about tackling well-being issues raised by colleagues. It went so well that they intend to repeat it again for all members of chambers that wish to attend.

Tips

  • They would suggest taking the time to find the right kind of person to deliver the training, and discussing in depth the sort of help that you wish any external person to give. They certainly benefited from having a talk which was more tailored to their needs, and from having such an understanding and well-suited person delivering the training.

The information and resource packs on this website are designed to help you and your colleagues to work as a community for better wellbeing and professional resilience. If you want to provide feedback on these resources, or to get involved in promoting wellbeing please get in touch.


Get in touch Policy & practice

It can be difficult to make a living from law and it can be pressurised and demanding. Competition and an adversarial approach to everything can make collegiate relationships difficult. This website aims to provide you with the knowledge to manage these stressors, make emotionally informed, wise professional decisions and thrive in your chosen profession.

A simple expression that sums up wellbeing is ‘travelling well’

Psychological wellbeing within the profession is rarely spoken about