Trainee Blog: Relationship building as a trainee

As a trainee at Michelmores, we attend training sessions with a distinct focus on relationship building and developing the skills needed to:

  1. work effectively in teams;
  2. network; and
  3. interact with clients.

For some, the idea of relationship building comes naturally. Networking can however be practiced and honed like any of the other skills you will develop during your training contract with Michelmores.

Networking

Networking provides the foundation for developing new relationships and connections. It is essential to developing both your business connections and your own personal brand ready for when you qualify.

Within the Firm there are many networking events to join such as the Cycling Network, Michelmores Book Club and the running club. In my current seat in the Projects team, there is ample opportunity for client contact and I have also been fortunate enough to attend a site visit. This was a refreshing opportunity to interact with clients in real life. 

We also have external opportunities to network such as the Property Awards, Property Developers Club and various training events. The underlying point is that taking the leap to attend any networking event (in-person or virtual) will enable you to meet new people who may become useful career contacts in the future.

Communicating

A key method for working in a team is understanding how to communicate effectively with others. As a trainee it is important to:

  1.  acknowledge different working styles;
  2. consider the best way to communicate with your supervisor, whether that be ad-hoc calls and emails or regular, diarised catch ups;
  3. inform colleagues when you have capacity to take on additional work; and
  4. notify the relevant person of the likely timescale to complete a task.

The above actions also enable your team members to plan their workload accordingly. Effective communication will strengthen your relationships as you will be seen as a reliable member of the team.

By coming across as enthusiastic and willing to take on additional tasks it is likely you will become involved with an array of interesting work within your team.

Being authentic

Ultimately, to cultivate relationships with others you have to be yourself. You may find that by joining one of the networking events you have a genuine interest in, such as the running club, you are more likely to find someone who shares similar interests to you.

This can help you to build relationships with both colleagues, existing clients, and potentially even future clients.

It is widely acknowledged that with the rise of technology and the automation of legal tasks, solicitors who can build relationships rather than solely provide legal advice are favoured in the market.  Not only will relationship building help you professionally, it will also make your day more enjoyable as you build rapport and enjoy interesting conversations with others.