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

Business Magazine - Relationship-building


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.




Hello duynguyen020692
This is a question we get asked a lot!  My answer is always the same: the most important thing you can do to improve your speaking is to practise.  Perhaps you have a friend who is also learning English and with whom you can practise?  If you can arrange regular practice together it will help a lot with your fluency and confidence, and you'll soon be hesitating a lot less.

Another thing that is very helpful is to listen to examples of conversations. There are some great audio and video materials on the LearnEnglish site - try them and see which ones are best for you.
Examples of typical everyday conversations are really useful too. Take a look at our ‘How to’ videos (and exercises).
Good luck!
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello everyone,
I like this articole very much. I work for a large international company, i work on sales.. I try to learn english, because is important for my job, and learning about the way how we can improve our relathionship with clients, is very important to. In this articol i can exercise both.
These seven steps, to becoming an effective relationship-builder, seems really interesting. I will tested.

hi I like this reading this about team work, it fun to day. it is 100% keep going.

Hello everyone,
I am glad to be a member to improve my English skills.
Looking forward to reach my goal which will change my career for the better.

Hi everyone, I am  from Albania. I am a student in 'ISA BOLETINI'  school -Tirana.I have a small problem when I talk with other people english I do grammar mistakes but when I write no. Where can I show how I canspeak fluently english without mistakes. Thak you very much!

Hello aleksandro!
Don't worry - it's normal to make mistakes when you speak, since you don't have time to think about your sentence carefully. It can take a long time to speak fluently AND accurately, so don't try to improve both at once.
To improve fluency, don't worry about mistakes, but focus on speaking. My students often ask me how to work on fluency, and I recommend that they make some classes or practice sessions about fluency, not accuracy. Instead of trying to get things perfect, they focus on trying to speak fluently. In other sessions, we go back to working on accuracy.
To practice accuracy, a teacher or class is very helpful. If you're studying on your own, you can try recording yourself using your computer or an online recorder like Try recording yourself answering some of the discussion questions on our website, and then listen to your answers. What mistakes can you hear? What can you say better?
Keep working on it, and your skills will improve!
Jeremy Bee
The LearnEnglish Team

hello everyone, I'm from vietnam. i'm a final student in Banking academy. I desire to speak english fluently with foreign person. now i want to get 7.0 ielts but my english is very bad. who can show how to learn and to practise? Thank you so much.

Hello Director!
Welcome to LearnEnglish! We have a lot of materials here to help you study for IELTS. If you have a look at our IELTS Tips page, you'll see many suggestions from learners and the LearnEnglish team about how best to study for IELTS.
Remember that the most important thing is to practice every day!
Good luck in your studies.
Jeremy Bee
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello! Can anyone tell me step by step the whole procedure that one should follow to improve speaking and writing skills.

Hello Nerd!
I'm afarid that's a very big question! However, I can give you some suggestions. For both speaking and writing, one of the best ways to improve is to join a class. The British council has teaching centres in India.
Practising your spoken and written English without a teacher can be tricky, but here are a few suggestions.

  • Keep practicing your reading and listening! This will help your writing and speaking without you noticing.
  • Use the comments section here to practice grammar and vocabulary. It's a good way to practice writing.
  • Many of my students like to keep a diary to practice their writing.
  • For speaking, try to record yourself. Choose some of the discussion questions and go to a site like, record your answers,  and playback your recording – what mistakes did you make? What do you like about your answer?
  • Finally, remember you don't have to have a native speaker to talk to. Maybe a friend or colleague wants to talk English – ask around, and find someone who wants to practice.

Good luck, and keep working on it - the most important thing is to do a little every day!
Jeremy Bee
The LearnEnglish Team