"We need to be patient and friendly."
Translation:Chúng tôi cần phải kiên nhẫn và thân thiện.
Technically yes. However, it will complicate this sentence structure: without phải, one may translate this sentence to English as: We need patience and friendliness.
So what does phải mean in this context and in general? I seem to confused its meaning.
phải does have many meanings. here it acts as a modal verb, must, should, or have to. together with cần it is translated as "need to" and indicates that the following words are verbs (to be patient and to be friendly), not nouns (patience and friendliness).