This Chapter covers SCCA’s support to in house counsel in their overall well-being and growth.
The mission of the SCCA has been to support in-house counsel in their profession and careers. However, there is a growing recognition that simply equipping in-house counsel with the technical skills and legal training is not sufficient and that there needs to be a more holistic approach to such support. To this end, the SCCA is curating a chapter to support the Health and Well-being of in-house counsel.
The chapter will broadly focus on:-
(a) Both mental and physical aspects of well-being, (such as self-care strategies, reframing work life balance and improving effectiveness of your work practices) their respective importance and the science behind it;
(b) Providing valuable information on recognising signs of mental illness, how and where to seek support; and
(c) Most importantly, what habits and routines can be adopted by members in their lives to increase overall well-being and navigating the various hurdles in respect of same and the science behind it.
The work and goals of the well - being chapter will be to:-
1. Continuously generate data and statistics which ascertain where members of the Community currently are in terms of their level of health and well-being and refine the programme on an ongoing basis to remain relevant, address emerging trends and challenges.
2. Create awareness in the idea and importance of well-being.
3. Teach members strategies for bringing about and increasing their well-being.
4. Provide a general reference/information on how and where to seek practical support (for poor mental health and for increasing well-being).
5. Sharing of various approaches for taking “control” of how to manage stressful situations in workplace.
“Taking Charge of your well-being in busy and evolving times”
On the 17th May, SCCA’s Well-Being Chapter was formerly launched with its inaugural workshop covering the topic “Taking charge of your well-being in busy and evolving times”. The launch focused on starting a conversation on well-being within the legal sector in Singapore; sharing some results following an initial survey conducted among in-house counsels; and engaging with and providing tools for the audience to assist with personal well-being.
This included an experiential work-shop and an interactive session facilitated by our Key-note Positive Psychology Practitioner- Ms. Tara Schofield. Tara is currently working as a Lecturer/Trainer with the School of Positive Psychology (Singapore). Tara co-founded and manages the Positive International Educators (PIE) Network, and is a Positive Psychology Coach for Being (Wellbeing for Human Beings).
Tara commenced a dialogue with the audience on the various pathways to well-being, including the use of positive emotions, strengths, engagement, relationships, meaning and purpose and achievement. The audience had the opportunity to practice some techniques and understand how these concepts could fit into lawyers’ everyday life.
The workshop was followed by a sharing of personal experiences with well-being by two esteemed Singapore in-house counsels, Jacqueline Low and Monisha Kamdar respectively. They both shared what well-being meant to them and how well-being is a subjective concept. Jaqueline shared a few key highlights of her own journey and how she coped with building and maintaining resilience. Monisha additionally spoke of what factors brought about well-being for her and how that has improved her effectiveness both professionally as well as personally. She also shared some coping strategies and personal tips with the audience. This dialogue of personal experiences with well-being was moderated by our chapter co-lead, Geeta Thakerar.
The session was followed by networking, drinks and refreshments.
Click here to view photos from the event.
SCCA’S second Well-Being Chapter event “UNTYING THE KNOTS ....by using emotions and mindfulness” was held at our sponsor FTI Consulting offices on 20th September 2018. It was a “cosy” and intimate event. We had a broad range of attendees from the in-house legal community including the government sector as well as private practice and also from other professions. It was an open public event.
Zerlina Sim, corporate trainer and coach with Potential Project together with Monisha Kamdar, a positive practitioner and coach, a practicing lawyer and our Well-Being chapter co-convenor, both facilitated the plenary workshop session. In addition, our panel of 3 in-house counsels – ShiYuan Yeo, Convenor of the SCCA Well-Being chapter and VP Legal and compliance BCS Information Systems, Vimaljit Kaur, Sembcorp, and Michele Musgrave, NextStory group also shared some experiences and learning.
Some of the key takeaways from the workshop included:
• Sharpening attention and focus through mindfulness techniques. We practiced some exercises as a group;
• Use and function of emotions (positive and negative) with a focus on the emotion of stress and how re-framing stress as necessary or beneficial can change our response to it.
Othe tips the panelists shared included:
- giving your self permission to be selfish one in a while and do something that we want to do that makes us feel good;
- knowing when to put your oxygen mask on and also helping others to also do so too in order to recharge; and
- leveraging simple mindfulness practices for a few moments everyday in order to remain calm and objective.
The session ended with networking and some refreshments very kindly supplied by the sponsors for the event, FTI Consulting.
Click here to view the pictures from the event.
We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.
George Bernard Shaw
This was the theme of the SCCA’s Well-Being Chapter’s third workshop on Thursday 21st February 2019. It was held at the inspiring and uplifting locations of WeWorks at Suntec City with sponsorship and support from Asia Law Network. SCCA’s Well Being Chapter was launched in the earlier part of 2018.
Resilience Through “Play” was the first in a series of events and activities associated with well-being week in collaboration with the Singapore Academy of Law (SAL) and the Law Society of Singapore.
We were privileged to have a Play Therapist - Adelyn Lee of Pandora Box Play Therapy and EXCO Board member of the International Women’s Federation of Commerce and Industry, Singapore to facilitate the play session. This was done together with Positive Psychology Coach and trainer at the School of Positive Psychology, Singapore, Monisha Kamdar, who is also a co-convenor of the Well-Being Chapter.
The workshop commenced with Monisha providing the relationship between play and resilience. Monisha reminded the attendees of the benefits of play in our lives and the important role it has on our well-being. She described how play can:
Ease our burdens;
Renew a sense of optimism and
Play also teaches us trust and promotes emotional intelligence.
Monisha then described what Resilience is and set out some of the components of resilience - confidence, optimism, positive affect, adaptability and social support. Monisha then went on to describe how engaging in Play helps build these components.
Thereafter, Adelyn commenced the workshop with an ice breaker……introducing yourself without speaking and using different parts of your body to greet people. It made the start light hearted and got everyone moving around and engaged.
We then broke out into several groups with a large blank sheet of paper and colour pens to follow instructions from Adelyn. We rotated through several new sets of instructions and were confronted with other groups work which we then had to build on. During the “play” activity the attendees had to use initiative; engage and be positive and check their emotional reactions. The play session was great fun and highly interactive.
This play technique/tool helped participants understand their own selves a little better and their reactions to situations, generated a lot of good humour and made the participants adapt to different situations. The goal was to help participants understand and see how Play helps to builds some of the components of resilience (such as positive affect and adaptability) - which act as resources and which can be drawn upon in times of difficulty.
The consensus immediately after the play activity, was that majority felt “uplifted” optimistic and positive.
Adelyn handed out a laminated keep-sake card with some key reminders for the attendees. The session closed with networking drinks and light bites.
Click here to view the pictures from the event.
By Geeta Thakerar
On a warm, humid and sunny evening on 23rd May 2019, a small group of in-house counsels, lawyers from private practice and various institutions gathered with excitement and enthusiasm at THE STUDIO, on Middle Road, in the vicinity of vibrant Bugis.
This SCCA Well-Being Chapter event Live, Laugh and Dance sought to bring together in-house counsel and members of the legal community to promote health and overall well-being through dance - in particular salsa.
Why salsa? We selected it since it is a great form of exercise. It provides the heart-healthy benefits of an aerobic exercise while also allowing engagement and social activity. Furthermore, it is fun and provides a conducive environment for teamwork and bonding. The word salsa means "mixture". Like its namesake, salsa brings together people of different and diverse backgrounds for mutual enjoyment and pleasure.
The session catered for both complete beginners as well as more experienced dancers. ShiYuan, Monisha and I, as the SCCA’s Well-Being Chapter Conveners, wanted to bring to the legal community a unique chance to build confidence and teamwork in a fun environment to further enhance well-being for the lawyers.
We all had a great evening ...living, laughing and dancing and addressed stress and anxiety management through our dance moves. We all totally switched off - being so focused on the steps, music and rhythm. A terrific sense of being up lifted at the end of the session was felt by many.Suzana Sainol was our principal dance instructor from Salsa Cubana, Singapore.
Suzana was such an inspiring teacher. A big thank you to ChangAroth Chambers LLC and ChangAroth InterNational Consultancy for the firm’s kind sponsorship of the event!
Meanwhile, please do stay tuned for the next SCCA Well-Being Chapter event. We hope to bring this to you in Q4 this year to potentially coincide with World Mental Health Day.
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Resilience Through Play Handout by Adelyn Lee of Pandora Box Play Therapy
The broaden and build theory by Barbara Fredrickson hypothesises that positive emotions have a broadening effect on the momentary thought-action repertoire, discarding automatic responses and looking for creative, flexible and unpredictable new ways of thinking and acting. Consequently, by broadening our perspectives and actions, we tend to build important and lasting physical, intellectual, psychological and social resources that, across history, may have contributed to our ancestors’ survival. To know more Download PDF .
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