Effective communication skills are important not just for lawyers but for everyone. It is about how you say something, how you interpret things, your body language, and much more. Lawyers need to understand their clients and their problems. As a lawyer, you need to understand how to effectively convey messages to your clients so that they recognize the purpose behind what you are saying.
From writing letters of advice and emails to representing clients in court and attending meetings, everything that a lawyer does involves communication. Now that most of a lawyer’s day is spent communicating, they cannot afford to be poor communicators. Still, there are a lot of complaints made against lawyers because of this. Afraid that this might happen with you someday? Don’t worry! Read this article to know how you can avoid this by following these 10 tips for effective communication skills.
But Why Is It Important?
There are two major reasons why a lawyer should possess great communication skills:
- Firstly, effective communication skills can save a lot of time and money for you and your clients. It lowers the risk of misunderstandings between both of you and ensures that clients know what to expect from you and what actions you need to take regarding the case.
- Secondly, it greatly improves the relations between a client and a lawyer. The most important thing in this relationship is trust and it comes with effective communication. Moreover, it improves client satisfaction and lowers your risk of getting complaints against you.
Tips To Improve Your Legal Communication Skills
If you are a lawyer then you need to know that communication is the key to your client’s trust. Here are 10 proven ways for lawyers to improve their communication skills:
- Communicate clearly and often: Clients are always anxious over their cases. This is why as a lawyer; you should communicate with them clearly so that it can ease their fears. Keep them updated about their cases and ask them to reach out in case of any queries.
- Know your clients: You need to understand your audience. It often happens that lawyers use formal legal language with their clients which they are not able to understand and their core message gets lost. Make sure to use plain English and avoid legalese if you think your client will have a hard time understanding it.
- Use leadership language: Your words play a vital role in how others see you and understand your message. In this case, start using more definitive words like “yes”, “I will do that” and “no” instead of “maybe” and “I guess”. Leadership language will improve your communication skills.
- Improve listening skills: Want to be a good communicator? You need to develop the habit of listening more. If one of the parties is not listening properly, then communication is hampered. You need to pay attention to every detail of the communication.
- Show curiosity and bring value: Show curiosity in communication. It will bring value to the conversation and help bring a strong relationship with the client. It makes your clients feel like they are respected and they will trust their lawyers even more.
- Feedback: Always ask for feedback from your clients. If you are willing to show that you are open to feedback, you will show that you care about your client’s opinions thus making them feel more valued.
- Confidence: Be confident in your interactions. Confidence will show that you believe in yourself, your views and opinions and all this will be more persuasive to others. When you are comfortable and confident, it helps you make a connection with people around you easily.
- Empathy: Lawyers often deal with clients who are under a lot of pressure. They may experience anxiety because most of the time they have no idea what to expect. In these cases, you can show empathy towards your clients to provide better service. They will feel much happier and calmer.
- Choose the right medium: To ensure that your communication is helpful and effective, you need to choose the right medium. Think about what your clients will prefer? Is it a short meeting? Will there be any follow-up questions? Will a phone call do the job? Get answers to all these questions to make the right choice.
- Body language: You can communicate without words and still have a great impact on your client with your body language. You need to keep a positive body language such as maintaining eye contact when you are on a video call or face-to-face meeting. Through this, your client’s body language also becomes positive.
Communicating clearly and with confidence can be the most effective skill you can cultivate as a lawyer. This skill should be taken seriously as it directly impacts your professional life. Other than keeping in mind all these tips, you should also add strong non-verbal skills such as maintaining good eye contact, professional appearance, appropriate gestures, and a confident posture. It will make you persuasive, memorable, and confident to your clients. If you want to become a more proficient communicator but don’t know how to do it, don’t worry! You are at the right place. We at FELIZ Consulting provide you with the best communication trainers and courses. Contact us at +852 9023 7932. We would love to hear from you!