Asserting Influence

Building Relations and Asserting Influence in the Civil Service

People tend to listen to those that they like and trust, so to successfully lead people and assert influence, it’s important to know how to build positive relations with those around you.

Building relations in the workplace requires excellent communication skills and the ability to adapt your communication style to connect with many different types of personality.

Essential traits of a leader

All relationships, whether in or out of the workplace, are built on trust. As a leader, it’s very important that you learn to communicate and present yourself in a way that fosters trust.  People tend to trust leaders who they believe to be:

  • Reliable

  • Approachable
  • Fair
  • Knowledgeable
  • Compassionate

Building effective workplace relationships

Building effective workplace relationships as a leader takes time, patience and skill.  You will need to brush up on your people skills, be adaptable with the way you communicate, present yourself well and learn to always leave any personal problems at the door. 

Four simple steps to start building positive work relations are:


If you want people to listen to what you have to say, then you’ll need to begin by gaining their trust by actively listening to them.  According to Dale Carnegie the author of the renowned book ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’, being a good listener is one of the best things you can do to increase your likeability and influence.


Show your human-side and personality to the people around you to improve your likeability factor and begin connecting to people on a more personal level.  All good relationships are two-way, so take the time to remember things people have told you and ask them questions.

Communicate clearly

One of the commonest reasons that relationships fall apart is miscommunication.  Those in leadership roles require excellent communication skills to ensure that they’re delivering their message with complete clarity so that everyone knows what they’re supposed to be doing and can work efficiently.

Be adaptable

With many different types of people working together in any one organisation, it’s important that leaders are able to adapt their communication style to connect with different personalities.  The approach that works for an outspoken extrovert, may not motivate an introvert.


The Civil Service College offer a creative professional development course in Building Relations and Asserting Influence, to help you position yourself as a reliable and confident figure and connect with your audience.


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