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  • How are you coming across to your boss?
    How are you coming across to your boss?
  • Are you getting the best out of your people?
    Are you getting the best out of your people?
  • Do you frequently get into arguments?
    Do you frequently get into arguments?
  • Are your conversations achieving what you want?
    Are your conversations achieving what you want?
  • Does your feedback help people change?
    Does your feedback help people change?
  • Can you allow discussion and still keep control?
    Can you allow discussion and still keep control?

Might your need to develop your relationship building skills
be met by this management training course
called Skills with People?

Yes if you agree with any of the following 

  • You'd like to feel better connected to some of the people you work with. You sense there's something missing in the relationship. You're not really on each other's wavelength. Misunderstandings very easily arise.
  • But you don't know how to broach the subject with them. They might take it as a criticism. So you keep quiet about it.
  • It would be a great relief to be able to create a genuine meeting of minds in an atmosphere of mutual respect and understanding.
  • You'd like to know how to repair relationships when they get damaged by conflict and disagreement.

What you'll take away from this relationship building skills course

There's an ancient wisdom known around the world as the Golden Rule. It's about how to get on with others. It says, very simply, treat them as you like to be treated. We’ll give you the crucial skills that'll help you build successful and harmonious relationships by treating others as you like to be treated. In a nutshell these skills boil down to just two, empathy and assertiveness.

Free exploratory coaching session

INTERESTED?

If so, you can have a FREE exploratory coaching session. It'll give you a foretaste of what you can get from the course. You make no commitment to proceed beyond this until you're sure this training is relevant to your own particular need.

How to accept this offer

Simply contact us for a preliminary chat and to arrange your free exploratory coaching session. 

What this session will do for you

In this session we'll aim to give you something practical you can use right away that'll help you handle a difficult situation more successfully at work. All you need do to prepare for this session is think about the kinds of situations you want to be able to handle more successfully.

FAQs

You'll find answers to many of your questions about the content and method of this course under FAQs (in the main menu above).

How the skills you'll practise on this course
will make you much more successful
at relationship building

Two crucial skills for relationship building

At the heart of relationship building are two crucial skills, empathy and assertiveness. They're the two main skills we'll help you master. These two skills will greatly enhance your ability to build relationships and connect well with others. Empathy is the art of giving your attention, respect and understanding to others. Assertiveness is the art of winning theirs.  

Here's an example of someone who came on the course to improve his relationship building skills

He was putting people's backs up. This manager had a reputation for being a hard man. This had its upside, because he also had a reputation for being able to achieve results in a tough industry. The trouble was that his aggressive approach didn't go down well with colleagues in the management team, and when an opportunity for promotion came up the job was given to someone more diplomatic. He took this to heart and tried to be less aggressive. The trouble then was that he felt inhibited about expressing himself and so he began to feel disheartened.

How he handled people before he had the training

He was a courageous man who set a high value on telling the truth without compromise. He had plenty of good ideas and most of what he said made good sense. But when disagreeing with someone he would say, for example, “You’re wrong,”  “What you should do is . . . .”  And he rarely showed any interest in other people’s ideas. The result was that he was putting his colleagues’ backs up and they found it easy to dismiss what he said on the grounds that, “he was just being argumentative”. It was easy for them not to take him seriously. What he needed was to replace the habit of expressing opinions in a divisive and argumentative manner with a different approach, one which created an atmosphere of mutual understanding and respect in which it would be much easier for him to achieve a meeting of minds with his colleagues.

How the course helped him develop his relationship building skills

He first needed to be helped to see for himself the weakness of the aggressive approach – in other words, that by putting people’s backs up his was making it easy for them to dismiss his ideas. This was done by showing him a video recording of one of his typical conversations. He quickly took the point.

Then he needed to be shown and helped to practise two skills that would enable him to be even more forceful than before but without putting his colleagues on the defensive. The first was to be assertive instead of aggressive. Instead of using an aggressive way of speaking, for example, “your suggestion is rubbish”, he needed to learn a no less forceful but much less argumentative way of speaking, for example, “what alarms me about your suggestion is . . . .”  This would make it harder for people to dismiss what he had to say because it wouldn’t seem like an attack.

The second skill was equally crucial, namely, the skill of listening with empathy to his colleagues' concerns. As well as saying, for example, “what alarms me about your suggestion is …,”  he needed to show he was trying to understanding and empathise with his colleagues, by saying, for example, “I imagine the reason you made that suggestion is that you are worried about . . . .” 

Mental habits he had to lay aside that been getting in the way of his relationship building 

It wasn't easy for him to learn this approach because it was so fundamentally different from the one he was in the habit of using. Two long-held assumptions were getting in the way. The first was his belief that feelings are weaknesses and that if you reveal them people will take advantage of you. This is untrue but until he was able to let go of the belief he couldn’t use the kind of assertive language illustrated in the paragraph above.

The second mental obstacle was his belief that to show understanding or “empathy” to someone is also a sign of weakness because it amounts to agreeing with them. This is also incorrect, but he had to learn for himself that it is possible to try to understand someone without agreeing with them and without compromising your own position. In spite of these obstacles and the initial strangeness of the new approach, after a few months of practice he began to feel at home with it and it began to made a big difference to his relationships and his effectiveness at work. He discovered that even a small change in his approach to people made a big difference in how they perceived him. 

Yet more reasons why you might benefit
from this training in relationship building skills  

  • I've been told I sometimes have an abrasive manner. 
  • I need to know how to take the initiative in repairing damaged relationships at work.
  • So much more can be achieved through positive working relationships. Some of mine are very negative.
  • It's particularly when things go wrongthat  I find it hard to maintain good working relationships. 

Is there more information on this website
relevant to relationship building?

Yes. You might also find our pages on communication skills and dealing with difficult people relevant and helpful.

We love helping you communicate successfully

By giving you communication skills that'll transform even your most challenging relationships and interactions.

That's the purpose of Skills with People, our training course for managers and professional people at all levels. Thousands have benefited from this course.

Video Introduction

What People Have Said About The Course

National Training Index* report on the course

"From delegates reports we have identified Skills with People is a 'highspot' among UK business courses. Delegates mentioned as most helpful the enha ...

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Learning & Development Coordinator - The Entertainer

I can't recommend this course enough. It has genuinely been the most impactful course I have ever completed. Understanding that I can be assertive w ...

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EHS advisor (environmental health and safety), Johnson Matthey

This is the best non-techincal course the company has ever put me on because it's the most useful. 

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Project Quality Engineer (self funding)

A lesson for life! The power of effective communication is incredible when one masters the skills "listen with empathy" / "speak assertively". Defin ...

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Feedback from participant's boss - a Johnson & Johnson finance director

He has made excellent progress in the management of his team. He has ensured key stakeholders are involved in decision-making and has gone to great le ...

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Feedback from participant's boss - head of projects in Heinz

He now gains support through his willingness to involve people more and take them with him.

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Workshop Manager, Professional Plant Services

I now find it easier to have awkward conversations. (As a result of how he has changed several more people from his company are asking to attend the c ...

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Feedback from participant's boss - a Johnson Matthey Catalysts (Germany) senior manager

There has been a noticeable improvement in the performance of this customer service engineer. He is much more succinct now than he was before. He was ...

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Feedback from a participant's boss - a WS Atkins director

Now he actively listens, probes, asks for clarifications and does not assume anymore he knows the answer.

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Feedback from participant's boss - an HSBC investment director

I have had three unprompted comments from different team members and colleagues who have been surprised at the consideration he has shown in helping s ...

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Sports Centre Manager

I feel that my relationship with other attendees has improved massively following the session. I'd say 9/10 for what I've got from the course as I sa ...

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Senior Engineer, Qualcomm

An unbelievable experience, highly motivating training and one of the few which stays forever in your mind. A tangible impact to your life and workin ...

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Feedback from a participant's boss - a Merck Sharp & Dohme medical director

She feels more confident in tackling people and has been impressed with her new found techniques, e.g., in dealing with members of the marketing depar ...

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Feedback from participant's boss - a Prudential director

He is a lot more confident. At the last meeting of our business unit leaders he fully led the meeting and dealt with people very well.

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Feedback from participant's boss - Chairman of White Clarke Group

He has greatly improved his ability to manage a situation. He listens more and uses that information to convince. A good example is the .... group, wh ...

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Feedback from participant's boss - a Kimberley-Clark marketing director

He is now aware of his need to control his direct approach. He was sometimes too assertive. I think he is now well balanced in this respect.

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Feedback from a participant's boss - a Shell International senior manager

He is showing far more self-awareness and more restraint in potentially confrontational situations. He is far more aware of the impact his actions and ...

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Feedback from a participant's boss - a Glaxo SmithKline research director

He has made good progress in two areas: 1. team leadership - he listens with empathy to others well and considers their standpoint as well as his own. ...

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Golf Club Manager

Ten out of ten for the course for me personally. I think I would have resigned if it hadn't been for the course.

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Feedback from participant's boss - A Philips Semiconductors director

To what extend do I think his training need has been satisfied? Completely. I have been approached by 4 peers to tell me that they could see a very po ...

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Feedback from participant's boss - a Billiton director

He's obviously making a positive effort and it does show. People used to be scared of him. No longer.

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Fundraising Officer, United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR)

A very intimate training which will make anyone reflect on how best to engage with colleagues when confronted with difficult situations.

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Feedback from participant's boss - a Johnson & Johnson marketing director

She has become increasingly aware and focussed on ensuring she is gaining cooperation from colleagues by the way she approaches situations. E.g., Meet ...

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Thank you from a participant

I wanted to let you know that I have secured a new role.  I had to go through an assessment centre and one challenge was to negotiate with a 'belliger ...

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Senior Resource Consultant, Shell International

“Skills with People” has helped me deal with conflict situations.  It has helped me to diffuse tension in meetings and convert pushback into alignment ...

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The wife of a participant

"Just thinking about last night’s conversation and it’s bringing tears to my eyes – it’s what I’ve always wanted: to be able to talk with you like tha ...

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Leisure Centre Manager

The most useful part of the course was learning how to convey my disappointment with a member of staff without demotivating them, without making them ...

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Theatre Manager

Managing to confront them but still maintain their cooperation and support. Previously I was either not confronting or confronting and ending up with ...

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Examples of Training Needs Met

Well intentioned but demoralising his team Read More...
Flying high but creating a tense atmosphere Read More...
Forceful communicator who created friction Read More...
Allowed his meetings to get out of hand Read More...
Technically very sound but lacking persuasive skills Read More...
Respected specialist who was too quiet at meetings Read More...
Very diligent but hated dealing with difficult people Read More...
Preparing for a more challenging role Read More...
Very logical but not creating enough rapport Read More...
Lots of energy and ideas but little attention for his clients Read More...
Difficulty communicating with non-technical people Read More...
Enormous enthusiasm but little sensitivity Read More...
Had a positive attitude but gave a negative impression Read More...
Not delegating or developing others Read More...
Being more assertive would help career go better Read More...

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