Are you suffering from Zoom fatigue?

 In Gill's Blog

Disclaimer: LawSkills provides training for the legal industry and does not provide legal advice to members of the public. For help or guidance please seek the services of a qualified practitioner.

Gill Steel - Solicitor, Trainer in Wills Probate Trust TaxJust to think of all the different connections we used to make in a day with other humans and to see them all reduced to 2D on Zoom is depressing but at least we can continue to function. Perhaps we need now to think about how we make the use of Zoom better for us because it has become so ubiquitous. Let’s try and use it sparingly and not all day.

Take training for example. A training session is just another window to stare at on the computer with no joy of getting out and travelling to a venue, mixing with like minds and networking. The danger is we leave ourselves no space to learn and remain unmotivated by what we heard wash over us. There is another way.

All at sea

I am reminded of the day my Grandad tried to teach his baby daughter to swim in the sea. The whole family was on the beach. My Grandma knitting on the sand, my Dad (10 years old) happily swimming in the sea and my Grandad in the water by the seashore proudly supporting his daughter in the water.

He approached the next groin in the sand and as he stepped over it he disappeared under water and left his baby daughter floundering. Like most babies she was fully buoyant and was suddenly happily working away at her version of doggy paddle.

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My Grandad, pride dented was struggling badly. He had not told the family he could not swim and was in fact walking along on the seabed until it fell away on the other side of the groin and he went under. Despite being a working deep sea trawlerman for most of his working life he had never learnt to swim, as it was folklore that it was better not to learn then the swimmers on the boat saved you and you did not risk your life saving them. No-one seemed to question this bad logic, after all what if all the sailors acted the same way and no-one could swim, presumably they all drowned.

My Dad was an excellent swimmer and saved the day. How different it could have been if Grandad had reflected on the knowledge he lacked before embarking on the task. If he had sought coaching and mentoring from his son about the risks and whether he should simply supervise his son helping his daughter until he learnt to swim himself. I suspect he never went near the sea again and he was certainly never allowed to take his daughter swimming again. She survived the experience and became a good swimmer.

Reflection is key to learning

What can we learn from this story? Reflection is a key part of learning. Before we can decide which training course we go on, we should reflect on our gaps in knowledge and skills honestly and truthfully. If we find it hard to do on our own, we should seek out a coach or mentor. A team leader is a good person, who should know what you need to be doing well to do your job and where you might benefit from knowledge or skill training to help you achieve the right level of know-how.

Prepare for the webinar

Once you have reflected on what you need to know you can find the right training – just now that must be via video streaming if not reading or listening to a podcast. So, jot down the things you want to get out of the webinar before you join it.

Find a participative webinar or ask your firm to book something suitable for several of you in-house where a group of up to 10 people can really take part in discussion and not just sit passively watching the screen. You may find that others in the group have the same issues as you.

Post webinar reflection

After the training session, it is time to reflect again. Have you got the knowledge now to use it back at work and apply the knowledge to the tasks you must perform well at work? If not, why not? What was lacking? Start again or ask for help from the trainer as well. Perhaps there are other resources available.

Practice and apply what you have learnt and then reflect on whether the knowledge you needed is now embedded, perhaps by discussing what worked for you with others in your group or your team leader or coach.

Re-kindle motivation

Then you can Zoom along your learning journey. It might actually become fun again to Zoom.

You will soon be swimming and not walking in the shallows too proud to share your knowledge and skills gaps when it counts.

LawSkills has just published its list of available courses for in-house use here.  Discuss with your coach or supervisor about booking one or persuade your local law society or STEP branch to put it on if the firm is not able to do so.

LawSkills has also published its schedule of public webinars for 2021 which you can view here.  If you cannot join on the day don’t worry you will be able to purchase a recording after the event.

There is something for everyone, why not take a look?

Gill Steel


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