Building Strong Relationships Blog Post by Compassa

How Do I Build Strong Relationships With People?

How to build strong relationships with people.

How to build strong relationships with people. Today I’ve been delivering IOSH Managing Safely training at a food manufacturer in Newcastle, and several times today the delegates mentioned the importance of building relationships with your colleagues and with your team. Building relationships downwards, but also building a relationship upwards with your manager, with your boss and senior management team.

And this is kind of crucial if you want to manage safely, whether you’re a health and safety professional and you’re trying to get stuff done, trying to improve health and safety performance or you’re just a line manager, operations manager, production manager, supervisor or team leader

It’s very difficult to motivate people, to delegate to people, to give feedback to people, to praise people, even to get anything done unless you have good relationships with people.

So the team helped me brainstorm a list of things that you need to do, just basic stuff that you need to do if you want to build good relationships.

Here is the list that we composed:

Take an interest in people.

Take an interest in who they are, what they need, what they like and what they don’t like, their worries, their anxieties, their problems, and their life situation.

A lot of the conversations you have with people, maybe most of the conversations you have with them should be about non work stuff to find out what they do outside of work. Ask how many kids they have, where they went to school, what are their passions, what are their hobbies, do they have any phobias, what’s their favourite thing to do on a weekend, and talk about those things. Take an interest in them.

Talk about them. People love to talk about themselves.

Don’t let job titles define relationships.

You don’t want to be known only as ‘the safety officer’, or ‘the compliance officer’.

If you’re like me, you’ll want to be known for who you are outside of work, I want you to know that I’ve got three kids. I’m a musician. I play the guitar. I played a bit of keyboard, and I used to front a 90s dance tribute act called Skool Daze, and it was bloody awesome. And a hell of a lot more fun than health and safety, that’s for sure.

So don’t let your job title define you. I want to be known as the guy who can wrap Skatman John and gets asked to do it in the canteen.

Tell the truth.

That means don’t lie. Don’t exaggerate the safety risk. Don’t exaggerate other things. And don’t make false promises.

Don’t promise you’ll do things and then fail to do it. Don’t tell them that you’re going to write an SOP and then not do it. Don’t tell them that you’re going to write a development plan to help them get promoted and then fail to do it. Don’t promise that you will approve their holiday request and then not do it. Making false promises is a type of lying.

So tell the truth, because this is about integrity.

Do your job.

On a previous course, someone was telling me about their manager and how they were struggling to communicate with them. They felt there was a bit of a personality clash with their manager. And then, as a result, that person felt that they were being overlooked for promotion.

And the more I listened to this person. The more I realised that they were actually antagonising their manager a lot of the time. They were critical. They were being argumentative.

So, do things on time with the minimum amount of fuss and minimum amount of drama. Meet your commitments. If you want to build a good relationship with your colleagues, do what is asked of you. Be the team player, the person that they can rely on to get stuff done.


Be humble, and don’t assume you know everything.

Assume your colleagues are competent. They might not be competent, but let’s start by assuming that they are. If they’re doing something which you don’t understand, assume that they know something that you don’t. And so instead of criticising and saying what they’re doing is stupid, try asking why they are doing it that way.

Maybe you’re missing a trick. Maybe there’s something you don’t know.

And for this, you need humility.


Listen to your colleagues. Listen to your boss. Listen to your team.

This is probably one of my biggest flaws. Lack of listening. So ask questions and listen to the answer without thinking about your response.
Genuinely listen to the answer and listen to learn. Seek to understand. Don’t sit there thinking about your counterargument, thinking about how you’re going to persuade them ootherwise.

That’s not listening.

How to build strong relationships with people – summary.

Take an interest in people.
Don’t let your job title define who you are.
Tell the truth. Don’t lie. And that leads us to authenticity.
Do your job with the minimum amount of drama. Do what you say you will do. Be humble.
Don’t be arrogant. Don’t be egotistical.
And finally, listen to people.

If you have any more tips on how to build good relationships with people, please let me know by sensing me an email to

Catch you later.