5 NLP Tips for Legal Professionals With(out) Learning Difficulties

Filed Under (UnLearning Difficulties With NLP) on 27-04-2014

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Can lawyers and legal professionals affected by learning difficulties get help for them without incurring too much cost in time, money, and energy?  If yes, how?  

Law is an immensely demanding profession on the usage of language.  And since learning difficulties don’t choose what professions they will target, even many a lawyer and legal professional struggle with words and numbers.  If their learning difficulties are severe enough, they may have been diagnosed with dyslexia or dyscalculia ( = the numerical version of dyslexia).   Whether their learning challenges be major or minor, many legal professionals are ashamed to admit it (more in some cultures than in others).  After all, the legal professionals are supposed to be the pillars of our society – and there’s no room for weakness in a pillar, right?  Others might be brave enough to seek help, but  don’t know whether there is help or where to look for it.  And since all this takes time which they don’t have, they carry on suffering in silence.

Dyslexia and dyscalculia occur to the most intelligent, creative, and highly visual people.  What I mean by visual people is people who prevalently think and process information in still and moving pictures.  The core cause of dyslexia and dyscalculia is that people use their visual skills in the wrong manner when handling words and numbers.  Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) helps with this problem.

Good spellers see clear and still ( = not moving) words in their imaginations.  Poor spellers spell by how the word sounds, or whether the word feels right after one has spelt it, or have words moving around and creating chaos in their imaginations.  The same strategies apply to numbers.  These incorrect approaches stem from the fact that English has long been taught in schools by phonics.  Phonics encourage sounding words out, not visualizing them.  And many lawyers and legal professionals in their 50s and older in some countries will agree on this from their experiences!

Since law is a primarily auditory profession, legal eagles with difficulties with spelling, reading, writing, or mental mathematical operations daily reinforce their learning difficulties by using sound instead of visualization without realizing it.  So how can anyone (especially the older folks) break the cycle?  Can old dogs learn new tricks?  Try these 5 tips and you’ll see [no pun intended]!

  • Reading is a visual activity.  Therefore always hold the page you’re reading up at your eye level, or (if the reading material is too large and heavy to hold) at least prop it with other objects against your desk so that the reading material is in a slanted position, not directly placed on the surface of the desk.  Your eye level is where you visual field is and because your brain is now processing a visual activity visually, you’ll find yourself naturally reading faster and taking in the read information more easily.
  • Abstract content, such as legal literature, can seem impossible to absorb and retain.  This is because abstract words have no pictures.  When I say “courtroom”, you can imagine what it is.  But “court injunction” and words such as on, in, up, before, after, was, who, hereby, thenceforth, heretofore, etc. have no picture.  So to retain the maximum of the content of legal literature read it section by section and train your brain to visualize whatever comes to mind while you’re reading – and remember it.
  • If you make reminder notes on postits, make one note per postit.  This way your brain will have just one clear chunk of information to process.  One is easier to handle than many on one postit!
  • When writing something keep your eyes far enough from the page to see the whole page.  If you bend too close over the page, you’ll lose yourself in the maze of letters and may only see parts of words and thus misspell them, get lost and confused.
  • When reading, writing, or typing anything train yourself to always keep your feet flat firmly on the ground.  Being grounded will slow down the busyness in your head and give you a calming sensation which will help you concentrate.

Are you a legal professional with or without learning difficulties who would benefit from NLP help?  Or do you know one?  Contact me or ask that person to.

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