Being an effective communicator is a necessary characteristic in order to be successful and agile in the workplace. In a law firm, an internal communications function might not be a first thought, but just might be the extra little something that may have been missing.

Joe Fredericks, founding director, PCA Law, is a change management expert who travels to law firms to advocate for internal communications as a means to innovate and promote growth through impactful conversation. In a keynote this week at Elite Vantage NYC 2018, Fredericks took Elite customers back to basics and gave them some tips to become better communicators.

A Fredericks noted, internal communications is a core component to employee engagement initiatives, internal work streams and motivated, cohesive teams across an organization. More and more organizations have recognized the need for, and value of, internal communications. If teams are communicating and functioning well internally, there is a much higher likelihood that they will be able to better support one another and have more time to focus on client needs.

One key ingredient to effective communication is building trust. Fredericks uses the “trust equation” to show an individual’s thought processes that identify qualities that are paramount when creating a close relationship and determining if someone is trustworthy.

Trust = Credibility + Reliability + Intimacy / Self-orientation

To equate to trust, clients or colleagues must give a high credibility, reliability and intimacy score and a low self-orientation score.

Transparency – another key element that plays into trust and loyalty – was discussed in a conversation about failure. In most cases, the word “failure” comes with a negative connotation, but Fredericks noted that one cannot innovate and grow without failing and added that it is important to have conversations about why something went wrong.

Fredericks recommended his clients use the Commercial Application Equation:

Organization Confidence + Client Creativity + Productive Failure = Commercial Appreciation

“Productive failure” means to not be afraid of failure and to feel empowered to enable clients to know that you may not have been successful in the course of an initiative. In fact, as Frederick explained, the ability to embrace failure demonstrates that an organization has grown and experimented with more effective ways of executing a task or developing innovation. As he pointed out, through failure, teams learn to improve, which is why it is a key element in the commercial application equation and it can be a useful tool when developing “the next big thing. “

Internal communications can truly transform an organization and help employees develop defining qualities to help form deep, lasting relationships and engage in two-way conversations that eliminate bureaucracy and drive production.

In a podcast interview, Joe Fredericks discusses some of the challenges that are facing modern law firms and how they address them.  To listen, click here or to download and listen later, right-click