Read about relationship-building in business, what it means and how to be better at it.

Instructions

Read the Text. Next go to each Task and do the activity.

What do we mean by relationship-building?

When we talk about the competency of relationship-building in the world of business, we are referring to building strong relationships with partners and clients – about using interpersonal skills to network in an effective way.

What does a competent relationship-builder do?

Somebody who is competent at relationship-building focuses on understanding the needs of the client and getting the best possible results. This competency promotes an ethic of client service and so an understanding and anticipation of a client’s changing needs is essential. Stress and conflict are other issues that a competent relationship-builder will manage - keeping composed and acting as mediator when conflicts arise.

How can I start to develop the competency of relationship-building?

First identify the business plan goals of your department and decide what your role is going to be in helping to achieve those goals. You will need to study the business plan and learn as much as possible about your clients’ activities, interests and needs. This information might be available in their own annual reports or in client surveys conducted by your company. Talking to your clients about how you can best meet their needs is also a sensible first step to take.

Seven steps to becoming an effective relationship-builder:

  1. Draw up a plan of what you need to do in order to give your clients what they want. Discuss your ideas with your line manager and then do what is necessary to implement the plan.
  2. When the plan has been set in motion, schedule regular meetings with your line manager to review the progress that you are making and make any necessary adjustments.
  3. When you are working as part of a team or group within a department or a company it is important to assess your contribution to the group’s work. Think about how your efforts help or hinder progress.
  4. Make a weekly analysis of your commitments. Set yourself a goal for each week so that you follow them through. Make an effort to do what you say you are going to do – and also, to do it by the time that you say it will be done. If you get into the habit of doing this it will become like second nature.
  5. Build up a file of contacts and classify them in a way that is meaningful for your particular work context. Then you will know exactly who to call with any queries or when you need information.
  6. Don’t just wait for feedback to come to you, request it from a variety of sources – from your line manager but also from colleagues, clients and people who you supervise. Listen to what they have to say and act accordingly.
  7. Build informal relationships with the people who are working around you. Make a point of greeting people who you normally don’t speak to. Ask them about their interests and make it a goal to practise small talk with them. Listen to what they say and remember so that you can ask about a particular interest the next time you meet.

 

Comments

It is too difficult to catch in relationship-building with big boss because the line between boss and me there is a project manager. He don't know how to use my skills, and so with reviewing in my progress I got down my evaluation in front of the boss. That is big issue and how should i be build-up like in this condition :/

Hello maynaing,

I'm sorry to hear that! As much as I wish we could help, I'm afraid we don't offer personalised career advice. Perhaps another user will have an idea that will help you. In any case, we wish you the best!

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

It is a very nice article, it is teaching us both English and business studies.

I really liked this article.
I've worked for a commercial department, and I had a similar experience. This article will improve my skills to get better results.
I had no difficulties to understand and do the tasks.

living in such working community building relationships should be a routine goal it has many benifits first we learn different and many things from other people and second we gaining more confidence even i havent tried yet but i will do in future coz i need much confident and this a way to get and be a confident person
relationships in business brings a glory in ur success

hello LET,
I have always had difficulties in matching headlines. the problem is, that I can't remember what was discussed in each paragraph and I have to refer to the main text in order to match the hading.
now my question is, can I refer to the main text in tests like TOEFL/IELTS, or do I have to remember the topic?
best wishes

Hello Ambitious learner,

It's been awhile since I've looked at an actual TOEFL or IELTS test, but I expect that you can refer to the main text. I'd recommend, however, that you investigate this a bit more on your own. TakeIELTS will probably have the information you need for the IELTS, and if nothing else, there are a couple of free practice tests that you can look at there. I'm not as familiar with the TOEFL, but I would think the ETS would have this information available on their website, or you could view a sample test to check. Beware that the TOEFL has different versions – some are computer-based and others are paper-based – so be sure to check the version you're preparing for.

Good luck!

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

It's good advice for everyone especially for people who run business, because business is about how we can build relationship with others.

These are very actionable pieces of advice on how to build relationships. Thanks a lot for this article.

Of course as humans are social creatures and we have to have some relationship with each other just to have more convenient and better lives specially in 21 century for finding job and our competency of building relationship should be very high.
I am not a good relationship builder though I decided many times to be but I could't yet because I am a shy person I never start conversation with strangers actually I don't know where I should start from.
It is really a big problem for me and I suffer from this since I got how relationship is important for human beings.
I'll try to practice this steps I hope I be able to solve my problem.

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