Posted: March 1st, 2017
The existence of a communication problem
There is nothing leisurely about the practice of law, particularly in a litigation practice. The atmosphere can be highly charged because of the stakes involved. In such an environment, communication can easily break down.
Mr. Smith thought he told you to handle an important filing in Chad s case. In actuality, he told you to draft the necessary documents to make the filing. You drafted the documents and put them in Mr. Smith s in box for his review. The filing deadline is nearly missed and Mr. Smith blames you. The worst part of the situation is that Mr. Smith never addressed the issue with you but instead told others that it was clearly due to your inattention to detail. Perhaps he wishes to avoid a confrontation, or perhaps he fears being told that the problem is not only his responsibility but also his fault. In any event, your reputation is being questioned amongst the professional staff.
In such a case, trying to establish the truth (what actually happened) can sometimes be fruitless. The need is to prevent miscommunication and be aware of the standard factors that contribute to communication problems.
Explain at least five factors that contribute to communication problems.
Outline specific steps you may take to avoid miscommunication.
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