How To Build Rapport Without Trying Too Hard
Rapport is a strong connection between two people that comes from their willingness to respect and understand each other despite their differences. Building rapport involves finding and using common ground as a foundation to expand the relationship further.
People want to be around people they like and people like people who are like them! And by building a bridge between yourself and others, you are more likely to influence, build alliances, and collaborate with them on a shared goal or vision.
So how do you create a warm, supportive relationship with someone? How much effort do you need to put into communicating with them to gain rapport?
The truth is, it does not take as much time and attention as you might think, especially if you apply these seven simple and effective strategies:
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1. Body language
Neuro-linguistic programming teaches us that matching and mirroring the other person’s stance helps them feel more comfortable in our company. For example, if they are sitting in a relaxed manner and you stand in front of them, they may feel like you are literally “standing over” them. By sitting next to them and relaxing, you are demonstrating equality and a willingness to pay attention to them.
2. Giving significance
We all like to know that others are willing to listen to us and respect our views and thoughts. These actions make the other person feel important. An example is when you ask someone’s opinion about an issue that you can resolve yourself.
By asking for their opinion, you are showing them that they matter. And you might be surprised as to how much value they can actually add to the final decision.
3. Use the other person’s name often
People love the sound of their name. Use it! Use it naturally and warmly to encourage the conversation.
4. Eye Contact
One of the key steps in listening attentively to someone is to look at their face, particularly their eyes. If you do this throughout the conversation, they will feel safer and more comfortable, and will be encouraged to speak more.
Looking someone in the eyes holds importance in our society. It conveys that you are being honest. It also helps the other person feel equal to you.
This simple, powerful strategy is one that you can use without any effort at all. Let the other person know
that you are happy to be with them and to be sharing a conversation with them. As you relax into your smile, they will relax into your company.
6. Giving feedback
Listen to what the other person is saying and repeat what you have heard back to them as part of your response. This is an excellent tool for disarming any misunderstanding.
Firstly, you can ensure that what you have heard is what they meant to say. And secondly, it helps you concentrate on listening rather than on working out your response.
7. Take written notes
After the conversation, jot down some key points, especially those that you notice were important to the other person. By keeping track of personal details, you can start the conversation by mentioning those details the next time you meet. People will instantly like you for taking the time to remember what they have said!
In a world rife with misunderstanding, misinterpretations and miscommunication, you can make a real difference to relationships by being committed to building rapport with the people in your life. It is a real win-win for everyone.
Helen Mitas is Australia’s leading mindset expert for anxiety, stress and business empowerment and the published author of the book ‘Mindset Dominance’. Helen has had extensive experience in corporate executive roles, and is regarded an expert in her field on the psychological stresses and challenges of the modern executive. Helen can be reached at www.helenmitas.com
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