Establishing rapport – having people like us and remember us fondly – is an invaluable skill. Whether you are in a business, a friendship, a relationship, selling, or just want to be more well-liked – rapport building skills can help you reach your goals. I use some of these skills to develop rapid rapport with my business, counseling and coaching clients. Remember that the key to all rapport building is sincerity and bringing a true love of others to your new relationships. With that in mind, lets get started:

  • Listen – Listening is the ‘King’ of all rapport building skills. EVERYONE loves to be listened to! Think about it. How do you feel when someone ignores you or talks over you? Do you feel connected to these people? NO! Who are the people you are closest too? I highly suspect that they are the people who listen to you intently and are concerned about your issues and wellbeing, right? Listening says, “I’m listening because you, and therefore, what you have to say, are important.” People’s greatest desire is to be truly listened to. Help them accomplish this most important goal, and they will like and admire you for it. Practice “conversational generosity” – don’t speak more than 30% of the time (10-20% is optimal).
  • Link Interests – Opposites DON’T Attract!!! People like each because of their similarities. So, whenever possible, notice similar interests and be sure to talk about and expand on them. This may take some searching and questioning to discover their interests – that’s okay – people will be glad that you are so interested in them that you ask several questions about them. Even if you don’t have any similar activities, have them discuss an area you find interesting or want to explore. For example, my old boss Mark loves golf. I have never played, but have a sincere interest in learning the game, so I asked him to explain some things about the game to me. He was thrilled that I was interested and complimented that I wanted him to be my teacher and valued his advice. Think of ways you can use this tool.
  • Ask For Advice – An old quote by Thoreau states, “The greatest compliment ever paid me was when someone asked me what I thought, and attended to the answer.” Asking for advice is perhaps the most sincere compliment you can pay to a person. You also have to humble yourself ever so slightly to ask for advice, and this vulnerability will create a sense of openness and trust between you. People are always happy to give advice and will associate that sense of happiness to you quickly. Aren’t your friends the ones whom you go to for advice? How can this person give you advice and not be your friend? See how strong this link is? People also admire someone who can ask for and accept advice. So few people can do this well, that it has become an admirable trait. Try it and see.
  • Compliments & Praise – No, this is NOT “kissing up” or being phony – this never works! What we are looking to do is notice praise-worthy things people discuss and mention them to the person. Notice the difference in the next two responses. Your new friend tells you they just won an award for helping children and you say either “that’s great!” or “Wow, that’s quite an accomplishment! You must have made a tremendous contribution to the lives of those children, you should be very proud.” Which response would you rather hear? Are they both true? Yes! Will one response have more impact and create a stronger connection? Definitely, yes! Noticing and commenting on the good people do and their special qualities is a great way to live, it is classy, and a great way to connect with others.
  • Demonstrate Liking & Appreciation – Most people instinctively like people who like them (and vice-versa). Many people like each other, but rarely tell each other. I make it a point to tell my friends that I like them and appreciate them – they already know this, but it’s still great to hear. With people I’ve just met, if I like them, I say things like “It’s been great getting to know you; I love to meet warm, open people.”” I really liked the way you talked about (BLANK).””Thank you for making me feel so welcome in your home. I had a great time today – let’s pick another time to get together soon.” These are just a few examples. Can you come up with better ones? Sincere appreciation like this supports friendship and cements relationships.
  • Adopt Their Values/Beliefs – As you are listening to the other person speak, notice their values/beliefs, and discuss areas where your values/beliefs sincerely overlap with theirs. Remember when I said it is best to speak 30% or less of the time? Take at least half of this time and use it to agree with, support, or expand on whatever the other person was talking about. You will never make a friend by disagreeing with them. Let points you don’t agree with slip by, and chime in when you hear something you agree with. By doing this you will make a friend, and at the same time, subtly promote the areas you believe in and starve the areas you don’t.
  • Enthusiasm – Communication is the transfer of energy/emotion. Everyone seems to love someone with enthusiasm because we all admire it and wish we had more! Enthusiastic people seem to brighten up a room with their positive energy, and we want that to rub off on us, we want to be a part of it. When someone is enthusiastic about our thoughts and ideas we immediately feel understood, appreciated and just plain great! No one will ever be offended by you getting excited about their ideas!
  • Matching and Mirroring – Matching & mirroring simply means that we match the approximate characteristics of the other person to help create alignment with them. Therefore, if they cross their legs do the same shortly after. If they tend to talk more slowly, slow your rhythm down so it is closer to theirs. If they use certain lingo, you can use it later in the conversation. If they are reserved, you be more reserved. And so on. Remember, we like people who are like us. This is a natural process that most people do unconsciously anyways – now you can know to do it consciously. It is a very powerful tool because vocal tone/speed and body language account for 93% of communication. This tool will make people very comfortable around you and is a very subtle technique.
  • Smile & Warmth – The first contact with another person is your face! Make sure that you present as warm, friendly and happy. A smile and a sincere desire for friendship will resonate in your voice and be demonstrated in your every action. First impressions are powerful; present the way you want to be remembered – SMILE! Smiling shows that you are happy to see the other person and like them. Smiling and warmth make others feel good around you – this is a lost skill – use it and you will shine.
  • Attending Skills – This simply means that you attend to the needs of the people you are with. It follows the lines of simple good manners, i.e., holding the door for someone, offering them a drink or a chair, buying them lunch, shaking their hand right away when you see them, etc. Almost any small courtesy or act of kindness falls in this category. These simple acts say without words that the other person is like, respected and appreciated. (And an action is worth what? That’s right! A thousand words!)



Source by Paul Cline

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