14 Nov 2023
This year, BTB has partnered with Briefed to provide Strategic Networking and Unconscious Bias training to our 23/24 cohort. Both programmes have been a massive success with over 82% of our candidates rating the training as very good or above, and almost all candidates reporting that the training increased their knowledge and preparedness for a career as a barrister from a non-traditional background.
To celebrate this success we asked Charanpreet Bhogal, an Academy 23/24 Candidate, to write about her experienced with Briefed Training....
"To kickstart the Bridging the Bar Academy year 2023/2024 we were tasked with completing online training sessions from BRIEFED on Unconscious Bias and Networking. First things first, the sessions were really well put together and well thought out. I found it really easy to jump from work to the training sessions since your progress is tracked and saved. Learning at my own pace meant I could scribble down as many notes as humanly possible to absorb all this great content.
Unconscious Bias Training:
This was an eye-opening session that used real life examples to show you how unconscious biases (of which there are 13!) can creep into our everyday lives. The examples used were extremely relatable and you were left thinking “Yes- I have totally seen this before!” For instance, Halo and Horn bias is definitely one that took me by surprise. One good thing or one bad thing can take over your perception of someone which then translate into preferable or undesirable treatment of that person. While it is very frustrating to see this, now I can better understand why this is happening.
Identification of the bias is the first big step. Step two is to confront this view and finally step three is to make a conscious effort to re-wire your thinking and perspectives to avoid these biases from occurring. Three technically and practically simple steps to tackle unconscious bias. [Added emphasis on simple.]
I cannot express enough how interesting and important this session was in providing an insight into how our minds work and how one little experience can change your whole view on a group of people.
Strategic Networking Training for Barristers & Clerks
This was a fantastic session that needs to be taught in University! There are so many networking opportunities out there, but making the most out of it as a student or graduate is so difficult.
“ What is the best way to introduce myself?” “How do I join a group conversation?” “How do I end conversations?” “How do I follow up with people I have spoken to?” All of these questions raced through my mind in the run up to networking events but all of these questions were answered during this training session. There were conversation starters, examples, and follow up templates provided.
This was an invaluable session on how to get comfortable uncomfortable surroundings. One big key takeaway for me was planning what I want to achieve from a networking event. Incidentally, following this training session, I had attended a networking event and can positively say this was a game changer! In setting a plan of what you want to achieve from the event, it focuses you on achieving your goal and gives you the confidence to instigate and join conversations with new people.
By practicing what I had learnt from these two sessions during this event, it has made me more proactive in rewiring my brain to put a stop to unconscious biases and building the confidence to establish new connections. These are underrated skills, but will absolutely make a difference to your practice and job prospects in general once you use the tips to build a worthwhile practice."