Elements and Functions of Communication

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Communication has been around for centuries. Cave men communicated with one another by their motions or the occasional “arg.” Animals communicate through growls or shrieks. We as humans communicate in a more revolutionized way. We have a form of language that can be interpreted in numerous ways. The process of communication seems fairly straight forward to most people. When it comes to communication at a professional level, it can get a bit technical at times. There are a few steps one must learn in order for communication to be successful and effective. Knowing the elements and functions of communication will lead to better environments for the paralegals and law firm personnel.
Communication has been defined in numerous ways. One of the best definitions of communication was stated by I.A. Richards, who is an author and English literary critic. (Wallace & Roberson, 2009) Richards’ definition of communication states:
Communication takes place when one mind so acts upon its environment
That another mind is influenced, and in that other mind an experience occurs
Which is like the experience in the first mind, and is caused in part by that experience. The intrapersonal, interpersonal, group, organizational, and intercultural levels of communication within your company

Formal channels are typically written memos or orders sent from one department to another. They are a way for a paper trail to be kept about certain issues within the departments. Memos or orders are created to provide clear and precise information in an effort to prevent confusion for any individuals involved. Most of the time, written forms of communication are sent through a chain of command for proper distribution. This makes sure that all the correct peo...

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... that can cause a huge problem for the client. There needs to be clear delegations and communication to avoid these assumptions.
III. Questions – knowing the right questions for the right time can be difficult at times. Especially, in the courtroom, the attorneys need to know exactly what to ask when questioning a subject but within the office, it can cause problems with communication.

• Written and Interpersonal Communication: Methods for Law Enforcement, Fourth Edition by Harvey Wallace and Cliff Roberson. Published by Prentice-Hall (2009) by Pearson Education, Inc.
• University of Phoenix. (n.d). The Y Hierarchy of Managerial Communications. Retrieved from University of Phoenix, COMM/400 - Management Communication Skills website.
• Hynes, G. E. (2011). Managerial communication: Strategies and applications (5th ed.). Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill.
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