Of the many skills that GCs need to possess, effective communication across departments ranks quite high. In fact, according to some, a general counsel will stand out if he or she can communicate and create connections successfully.
Corporate Counsel’s report on highlights from the 2018 Association of Corporate Counsel Corporate Counsel University in Philadelphia in June included focusing on the value of this “soft skill.” According to the experienced in-house leaders speaking at the three-day event, effective articulation, making connections outside of the department and the ability to offer solutions, not just focus on the risks are essential for today’s GC.
Richard DePiano, GC at Escalon Medical Corp., emphasized the necessity of interacting with those outside of the department.
Jim Rogers, CLO of cars.com, stated that learning how to interact with everyone company- or business-wide is “one of the single most important skills” a GC could have.
Rogers added that it’s also important to really know your variety of audiences and how to reach each one.
Both also addressed the significance of offering solutions, not just “always saying ‘no.’”
A GC’s credibility will increase if he or she can clearly articulate and provide supporting analysis to executives why they’re incorrect.