Centre for Continuing Education

Building Positive Work Relationships Course

Business Communication. Sharpen your communication skills.

Eleanor Shakiba
Eleanor Shakiba is an expert in social and emotional intelligence. She has taught over 50,000 people to think and speak in ways which build success. She has been teaching at the Centre for Continuing Education for over ten years.

Eleanor’s qualifications include a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Anthropology, Graduate Certificate in Applied Psychology, Graduate Diploma in Adult Education, Master Practitioner and Trainer certifications in accreditation to administer MBTI and DISC psychometric instruments and LEADR training in mediation. She writes and teaches in the areas of applied psychology, communication and conflict resolution.

In business, relationship management is the key to your success. If you have strong relationship-building skills, you can work co-operatively with colleagues, resolve conflict, handle client complaints and win better results in sales or negotiations. Find out how to create positive work relationships using essential communication tools. Hear how to build rapport and develop mutual understanding in the workplace. Learn to communicate positively and appropriately at work. This is an introductory level communication course for anyone who wants to improve their relationship-management or ability to contribute positively to a team.


Constructive relationship management involves building and maintaining positive partnerships and connections. Overall, the skills covered in this interactive relationship management course will help you:

  • avoid leaving the success of your relationships to chance
  • take control of the relationship management process, so you can maintain positive relationships with clients, colleagues and suppliers
  • prevent conflicts or misunderstandings impacting negatively on your workplace relationships
  • use the principles of emotional intelligence to build constructive partnerships at work
  • eliminate the poor communication habits which can limit your success at work
  • become the best relationship manager you can be.


By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • take a strategic approach to relationship management, using stakeholder-mapping techniques
  • build trust by adopting behaviours which boost credibility, reliability and intimacy
  • balance self-disclosure and enquiry to build mutual understanding in professional contexts
  • use verbal and non-verbal rapport-building techniques to connect with others effectively
  • present your ideas, suggestions or opinions using positive language, so you can 'disagree without being disagreeable'
  • use solution focussed questions and a simple four-step process to solve problems collaboratively.

How can you put your learning to use?

The practical focus of this course means that you use what you learn immediately.

Relationship management skills can be used in business to enrich your workplace communication. By focusing on relationship building, you can build stronger networks and increase your effectiveness at work. In your personal life, you can use relationship-building techniques to strengthen friendships and family bonds. You can also use the communication skills covered in this course to sort out conflicts and create harmonious personal relationships.


Topic 1: What is relationship-building?

Once you’ve mastered the technical aspects of your job, around 75% of your professional success depends on your ability to build and maintain positive relationships. Fortunately, relationship-building is a skill – and this means you can learn how to do it effectively. Discuss what relationship-building involves at a practical level. Identify the skills YOU need to master to improve your professional relationships.

Topic 2: Taking a strategic approach to relationship-building

Customers, suppliers and co-workers are all essential for your success. So, it’s important to build and maintain good relationships with these people. Discover how to take a strategic approach to relationship-building by mapping, managing and building your alliances and networks.

Topic 3: Building trust to build relationships

What’s the single, most important ingredient in a successful relationship? Social psychologists have shown it is trust. Assess your own ability to build trust, using the trusted advisor model. Apply behavioural strategies for increasing credibility, reliability and intimacy in professional relationships – so you are perceived as a trusted advisor or associate.

Topic 4: Creating mutual understanding and rapport

Effective relationships – whether they are personal or professional – are underpinned by mutual understanding and rapport. Unfortunately, these elements are often missing from our professional relationships, because we lack the time to invest in deepening communication. Hear how to overcome this issue. Actively create mutual understanding, by using high GAIN questions and reflective statements to demonstrate interest in what others say. Build a deeper state of connection – called rapport – using nonverbal matching techniques.

Topic 5: Speaking positively and constructively

If you want to build effective work relationships, you need to communicate positively. Even in tough situations or when you disagree with what others have said. One powerful way to do this is to frame your message constructively. Learn how to use positive language patterns to set limits, respond to complaints and say ‘no’ to unreasonable requests.

Topic 6: Collaborating to solve problems

Successful relationships are based on collaborative behaviour. Adopt the mindsets and behaviours of people who excel at collaborative problem solving. Use four key steps to lead a collaborative conversation. Isolate the core issue, identify each person’s needs and concerns, generate creative options and solutions, and then build a practical action plan. Use solution focussed questions to guide a problem-solving session through all four stages of collaborative dialogue.

Who teaches this course?

Eleanor Shakiba is a leading people skills trainer, based in Sydney. She has taught over 48,000 people – like you- to use breakthrough thinking and communication tools. She has written over ninety training courses and produced 12 audio programs to help you excel at work.

Eleanor is qualified in Social Anthropology, Adult Education, Applied Psychology, Neuro Linguistic Programming and Mediation. She writes and teaches in the areas of applied psychology, communication and conflict resolution. Her passion is helping professionals learn skills for success in the real world.

Intended audience

Suitable for all managers, team leaders, supervisors and individuals wishing to enhance and develop their relationship management skills.

Delivery style

This is an interactive course on relationship management. It covers the why, what and how of building strong workplace relationships. You’ll learn through a variety of methods including:

  • small group discussions
  • role plays or simulations
  • written exercises in which you will apply key concepts
  • question and answer sessions with the trainer.

You will get the most from this course if you are:

  • willing to contribute to group discussions
  • confident communicating verbally in English
  • comfortable participating in role-play style activities.


  • Expert trainers
  • Central locations
  • Free, expert advice
  • Course materials – yours to keep
  • CCE Statement of Completion

What others say.

  • I learnt a lot of great ways to help me communicate with my colleagues. I found the presenter really engaging and helpful, and it was good that workable examples were provided that I can use in practice.

  • The tutor was very good in providing examples and instances that helped us to relate and understand better.

  • The course was excellent and very well presented. The venue was very comfortable and easy to access.

  • The presenter was very mindful of the groups skills and needs without being pushy. The pace was good and varied to keep everyone’s attention. We were provided excellent handouts and practical tips to take away.

  • I enjoyed the day and felt like it was very well facilitated. I’ve sharpened my skills and been made aware of bad habits and how to address them. The content was applicable both in the work place and other walks of life.

  • I really enjoyed the course – I feel it was something I needed and it made me look at my own behaviour, as well as addressing other peoples.

  • Everyone who works with other people should do this course! The guided group time was very helpful and I learnt practical solutions to apply to my workplace. The presenter is very knowledgeable and does a superb job!

  • I found the tutor very knowledgeable and engaging which made the day both enjoyable and valuable!

  • A terrific course: well-delivered, with an excellent balance of theoretical content and practical exercises. I’ll be recommending this to others. Many thanks to CCE and the presenter.

What others say.

  • The course is delivered in a relaxed and supportive environment by a wonderful trainer who instantly makes everyone feel at ease. I believe with practice, I will be communicating more effectively and building stronger work relationships in no time.