3 Ways to Overcome Communication Barriers with Your Employees

Posted by Audrey Ehrhardt, Esquire, CBC

Communication barriers are present every day, whether we acknowledge them or not. Communication has two steps. The first step is the sender transmitting information to the receiver. The second step is the receiver processing that information. A lot of noise happens between these two steps that can distort the true meaning of the conversation.

When communicating with your employees, it is extremely important that you break down these barriers in communication.  You need to communicate with your employees in a way that will lead to a more efficient and well run practice with everyone working on the same goal of making your law practice the best. Need ideas? Here are our three best practice ideas for effective communication in your law practice:

  1. If you are the boss, leave the door open to your employees, literally. Your employees need to understand that they may ask questions, make requests, and express what they think. If they do not feel comfortable that they can do these things, your relationship will have a negative framework. It is constructive (and to your advantage) to challenge your employees and allow them to communicate with you. Keep your office door open so that this can occur. Encourage them, though, to schedule check-in meetings with you to teach them not to frequently interrupt you.
  1. Use the correct language and tone. Yes, there are words that have the same meanings, but one may have a much harsher tone than another. Choose words and tone that are going to push your employees to excel.  Use positive words that will motivate your employees in their work. This will show them that you appreciate their role in your business. Positive words, the right tone and encouraging corrective action plans are keys to building the law practice team you want.
  1. Listen before you speak. 1…2…3…, then speak. This is an underrated method. Everyone should count to three in their mind before they speak, especially in crucial conversations. When you choose to actively listen to others, you will find that your responses will be wildly different than when you act “off-the-cuff”. Try to understand your employees’ messages from their point of view, so that you can answer in a thought provoking and insightful manner.

These tips will bring the communication with your employees to the next level of professionalism and excellence.  This will have a direct effect on the atmosphere in your office. Words are powerful, make sure you use yours to encourage and stimulate your employees to do their absolute best! Have questions? Contact us to ask them!

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