29 March 2021

How to build trust in your law firm


When we talk about building trust at work, we mean that this relationship is present between lawyers and partners in law firms. And no, it is not always easy to establish trusting relationships between lawyers

Communication is one of the pillars that build trust. A leader, or an area manager, has to analyse the way he or she communicates with employees. Communication helps to facilitate rapport between co-workers and feedback is, in the view of experts, a key factor in increasing trust. 

A leader has to be demanding with himself and with his employees, but he has to know how to reward and, at the same time, diagnose the shortcomings of lawyers

Remember that criticism is one thing, but healthy and constructive diagnosis is another.

Another factor to take into account is sincerity. Whoever has the privilege, and the responsibility, of leading a team must remember that honesty is a winning quality in the legal sector. 

Teaching, recognising mistakes, changing strategy, etc. All these actions, if not accompanied by a dose of sincerity, may not serve to build solid trust in the team. 

To build trust


On the other hand, sincerity is closely linked to the designation of responsibilities. Those in leadership positions often have a moral controversy about whether to blame themselves for mistakes that occur during the work or to point the finger at others. 

In general, the leader has to be aware and present when and where problems arise. This does not mean that they are constantly "playing the victim" of everything bad that happens in the firm, but that they know how to stand up for themselves in bad or negative moments in the organisation. 

In the vast majority of cases, he or she must be the first to take responsibility. This also involves reviewing what went wrong and the factors that led to the negative eventuality.

Employee self-management may not be an easy matter at first. Indeed, when a lawyer arrives at a firm, his or her every move is often scrutinised in detail, perhaps because of mistrust of the leadership

In the work environment, many mistakes will be made and leaders need to be the first to be aware of this. Therefore, it is not entirely bad news if a lawyer makes a mistake, as long as the mistake(s) can be easily corrected.

Through small mistakes, and their rectification, an environment of trust between employee and boss will emerge

The evolution of leaders must be constant. There are multiple factors that cause the leader to evolve (new employees, different corporate culture, new technologies, different work regimes, etc.). Generations move on and so do tastes and fashions.

The leader has to be able to observe what is happening in the legal sector. He or she has to observe how law firms are adapting to the new times. What approach should be taken to internal communication in the law firm he or she leads. 

A leader cannot build a law firm without taking into account the opinion of his employees. Trust works in the same way: through clear, free-flowing trust, full of constructive feedback and opinions.

Copyright © The Impact Lawyers. All rights reserved. This information or any part of it may not be copied or disseminated in any way or by any means or downloaded or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of The Impact Lawyers. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the positions or policies of The Impact Lawyers.

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