The Power of A Leader's Communication

Kathy Fortin

August 30, 2020

 

The Power of A Leader’s Communications 

 During a twenty-five-week period of remote working, a friend of mine who runs a small business sent an email to his staff every morning. On Day 1, his “missive” as he called it, was titled "All Dressed Up and Nowhere to Go.” From that day onward, the staff of approximately twelve people responded with their own comments, reactions, and thoughts. The emails included work issues, personal anecdotes, and observations. As you can imagine, he must have covered a variety of topics over nearly half a year. At the same, he was staying connected with his employees.

In my discussions with him about his missives, my friend said that he knew he had to connect with everyone in some way on a routine basis. He recognized that they would feel a sense of isolation, all of them having been accustomed to daily teamwork and camaraderie. It was an isolation he too experienced. For all of them, working together had come to an abrupt halt in a single day. 

My friend had not planned that his efforts to stay connected would become a daily event. Yet, when he began hearing that his staff looked forward to turning on their computer each morning and seeing his name in their Inbox, he decided to continue. When he took one week off for vacation, they told him how much they missed his messages and that it was not the same without hearing from him. This simple measure had shown him that, as their leader, they relied on him. Staying in touch became a way to keep them engaged, facilitated the work-flow, and kept their spirits up.

 

This week marks the end of the daily missives, as his office is returning to a more normal work schedule. While my friend has felt he was running out of things to say over the past few weeks, the staff had begun to express how much they will miss receiving the daily communique from him.

I use this personal anecdote to illustrate the multiple roles that law firm leaders and managers fill. I have written before on the critical significance of communication in law firms and I continue to remind those who are running small law firms that more communication is better than less and no communication is never helpful. Ask yourself how your role has changed during the pandemic. I encourage you to think of ways that your staff would benefit from a message from you. If not every day, even a weekly communication can serve to keep you and everyone in your connected.