This week we need to look at how to build rapport with others. Being able to build rapport is one of the most important skills in achieving the results that you want. During the NLP training we talk more about actually being in rapport with yourself, but for now, let’s focus on how to build rapport with others.
Building and maintaining rapport with others is an essential skill to have and is one of the most important skills that you can develop to help you to get better results in your life. When you are in rapport with somebody, then they are more likely to accept what you are saying.
You can even effectively build rapport with people you don’t like! This can be a very useful skill when dealing with staff, clients or the bank teller who is going to help you sort out the paper work. In fact, rapport is useful in any walk of life.
People, who are like each other, tend to like each other. Have you ever met somebody and really hit it off? You felt that you had so much in common and really liked the other person? Chances are you were in rapport.
“For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.” Aristotle
How to build rapport
Rapport is achieved through a process of matching and mirroring others. An example of matching is, if you were to hold up your right hand and I held up my right hand, then I would be matching you. If you held up your right and I then held up my left, then it would look like you were looking in a mirror.
You want to do this outside of the other person’s conscious awareness. That is to prevent the other person from feeling uncomfortable. Rapport is a natural process that people do without even knowing that they do it. Can you remember having a conversation with someone recently and during the conversation you crossed or uncrossed your legs. Then shortly after, the person you were speaking too, then did the same with their legs following you? This can be an indication that you were in rapport with each other.
There are a number of things that you can match and mirror in building rapport, e.g.
You can match the other person’s breathing rate and location.
Their posture, blinking, hand gestures, how the person sits or stands.
Language- their keywords, the predicates they use.
Matching voice tone, volume, speed and quality is also very effective, especially on the phone when you can’t see the other person.
You can also ask them questions and get them talking about themselves.
We cover this in much greater detail during the NLP Practitioner training and you will get to really build on your skill whilst working with others.
To be effective when we build rapport, it should stay out of conscious awareness. Where possible, when meeting with someone, I allow them to sit down first and then I adopt their body posture as I sit down. You are not doing the same as a 4 year old child who is copying every move they make. This will make them feel uncomfortable.
This skill takes practice. As you start to feel comfortable with building rapport, start practicing to doing it with strangers that you meet, or people at work. Enjoy the results and keep practicing. Being in rapport with the person with whom you are communicating with will go a long way to getting the results you want. Remember that this has nothing to do with manipulation.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle
If you need any help please feel free to reach out to me. I am always happy to help.
Have an awesome day and week ahead.