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Building Brilliant Client Relationships

What the research tells us


The group we studied constantly referred to the importance of their relationships and described how they invested heavily in building strength, depth and trust in their relations with others. They did not focus on client relationships alone, but recognised the need for equally strong relationships with colleagues across the HR function. What was also striking about these relationships was that they were not always comfortable, but real, honest and often challenging.

Time and time again they described having been able to make a difference and get things done as a direct result of the strength of their relationships.

Sample quotes on relationships

  • ‘Build trusting relationships for the purpose of improving the effectiveness of people’
  • ‘Listen to the words, tone and emotions’
  • ‘Create opportunities to interact’
  • ‘Put yourself in the client’s shoes’
  • ‘Know the client’s interest, concerns and values’
  • ‘Be conscious of the implicit message’
  • ‘It is imperative to work with people’
  • ‘Relationships are built over time and multiple transactions’
  • ‘I will challenge the client where their actions will damage the business or themselves’
Key to becoming a high performing HR professional is building deep and trusting relationships with both business clients and other HR colleagues.