Skip to content

Your five step plan to successfully building relationships

Research shows that the most successful HR Professionals are able to build strong and enduring relationships with their leadership teams. Their high credibility enables them to influence the way people are managed as well as implement HR strategies which are aligned with organisational objectives.

The last blog on building relationships outlined what high performing HR Professionals do and how they think.

If you want to get better at building relationships we have a five step development plan and outlined below are just a few of our suggestions as to what you can do:

1. Developing trust and credibility

Trust is the ultimate source of your influence; this in turn determines the strengths of your relationships. A trusting workplace has; limited office politics, high civility among your team, and eagerness for teamwork which is smooth, efficient, mutually tolerant and accepting

Be honest and truthful when dealing with others; Demonstrate respect towards others by showing you care; Be transparent by telling verifiable truths i.e. “what you see is what you get”; Hold no hidden agendas; be accountable for mistakes, apologise quickly and demonstrate humility;

Never take your credibility for granted! The quality of a HR professional‘s relationship with their organisation is founded on belief and trust. This is hard to win and easy to lose as it is based on the recipient’s perception.

2. Mapping your network

Is your networking ‘haphazard’ or do you use a ‘network map’? Are your networks well balanced between Personal, Organisational, Professional and Strategic groups?

Research indicates that a good networker has at least 150 active relationships. How close are you to reaching this number? Building your network; Who are the people you need to continue networking with? Who are the people you need to begin networking with? Whose support do you need to achieve success in your role? What actions are you going to take to make these networks happen?

3. ‘Walking the collaborative talk’

Appropriate language and excellent communication skills are essential for building strong collaborative relationships. What you say is almost as important as what you do!

Understand first, and then try to be understood. This simple but very powerful approach acknowledges that the people you are communicating with have something worthwhile to say. Further it makes them feel like winners, while providing you with a learning opportunity. You are diagnosing before prescribing – a critical skill for any competent HR Professional.

4. Developing a consistent way of working

How do you engage and communicate with your key relationships? How do you manage their expectations of what you can deliver? Do you use a particular technique or approach? A lack of ‘rules of engagement’ and clarity in how working relationships will function will compromise your effectiveness in building the strongest possible relationships.

Research demonstrates that a consistent relationship building approach tends to develop stronger and more enduring relationships, a joint-problem solving ethos as well as increasing ownership and accountability

5. Seeking ‘common ground’

How actively do you build collaborative relationships? How actively do you build common ground? Are you: a true team worker; trusting and tolerant of others; accepting of ambiguity; fluid in your thinking and work practices; and comfortable with others shaping and determining your direction?

Teamwork means collectively and collaboratively identifying and resolving organisational issues and / or challenges, while supporting, guiding and challenging your organisation’s future people’s agenda.

To find out how CourageousHR can support the development of your HR Function please email [email protected] to arrange a call to discuss your specific development needs.