A good communicator can convey his message with such clarity that his words and his intentions are in sync at all times. And the person being communicated to can understand the meaning of the conversation with the exact intended meaning. This is called effective communication. It is a vital attribute for a successful legal career.
Some of the most important outcomes of effective communication include strong relationships, clarity of ideas, and mutual respect. Keeping in view that the legal profession thrives on communication, we present you with some simple yet powerful practices that can bring immense value in communicating effectively.
Valuable practices to communicate effectively
Smile & Genuine Appreciation
A good communicator ensures that the other party in communication is willing to listen, negotiate, and talk with a mutual intent of bringing value. A smile and a genuine appreciation melt the ice and create the warmth necessary for an inclusive discussion. It conveys the message that you are interested to talk about. It passes the silent intent behind the words that the time being invested is valuable. It places both the parties at ease to be vulnerable and open to talk.
State a clear Intent
Communication has to be specific and with an intended outcome. Open-ended discussions do not lead to any conclusion. A good lawyer states the intent clearly thereby ensuring the discussion revolves around the topic of relevance. This is professionalism.
Ask clearly and Listen more
A good listener builds trust and rapport quickly. He commands respect and likability from other people. Listening helps one to get clarity on the thought process and needs of the other person. It enables in asking correct questions at short intervals to bring out the matters of the fact. In turn, that helps a lawyer to prepare the legal case based on facts and not on perceptions. A good listener will be able to notice not just the meaning but the emotions behind the words spoken.
Listen to Understand, Not to Respond
More often than not, people tend to listen waiting for their turn to answer back to put across their point. Good lawyers are open-minded to find a new perspective during communication. They cease to be rigid with their personal views and are open to new possibilities, facts, and strange realities.
Repeat your Understanding
The mind perceives things based on what it knows. Deriving one’s own meaning is not communication. Understanding the exact meaning of the other party and forming a response based on that is the circle of effective communication. To ensure the right meaning is derived, paraphrase and repeat what you understood.
Maintain Verbal communication as the First Priority
Technology gives an edge to the speed of passing information. Sharing information is only a part of the whole communication process. More often, the intent is passed only through one’s voice. The tone, pitch, and the words delivered provide a clear meaning than multiple emails. The personal touch is the best way of communication and successful lawyers ensure this is always a part of their relationship building.
Conclude Discussions with a Clear Expectation
End the discussions maintaining your position on what you plan to do next. Set a date and time for the next meeting. Be clear about who will communicate first. This builds trust and clarity. Ambiguity has no place in clear communication.
The above practices are specifically mentioned to ensure that these are subtle actions that bring great professionalism for lawyers. Effective communication commands respect both at the workplace and in the personal lives