What is Rapport
The first technique we are going to cover is rapport building. The definition of rapport is the development of a close and harmonious relationship in which two or more people understand each other and can communicate well.
Most people try to build rapport by being nice to someone, followed by a sharing of common experiences. By doing this you’re saying, people like people like themselves, and these are the reasons I’m like you. These common techniques can work some of the time but definitely not all of the time.
Building Rapport is normally the difference between getting someone to quickly like you, or not. I’ll teach you now what to look for and how to effortlessly gain rapport with anyone.
What is Mirroring
When you are with someone you trust, you may not notice, but you are naturally mirroring him or her. Mirroring is defined as when you copy someone elses behavior: movement, body position, hand gestures, tone of language, etc. A clear example of mirroring is seen when a couple naturally completes each others sentences. They are so in tune they actually seem to read the others thoughts.
What most people do not realize is that mirroring is a two way street. You can actually mirror a person slightly and get them to feel closer to you naturally. When mirroring people it is very important that it stays outside of their perception. Be very subtle by copying breathing, the speed in which they are talking, and a few of the phrases they are using. Don’t make it obvious that you are mirroring them.
What to Watch and Mirror
The first thing you want to mirror when meeting someone is their breathing pattern. When a person inhales their shoulders rise. They exhale when the shoulders fall and when they speak. Monitor these to areas and copy them.
Now match the speed and tone of their voice. Pay particular attention to:
You could also study color changes, muscle movements and lower lip movements, but I’ll keep it simple for now.
The Mystery of Body Language
I talked a lot about Gestures and Body Language in the last 3 articles, but I want to go a little further.
Albert Mehrabian, a researcher in the 1950s, found that the total impact of what you say is 7% verbal (words only), 38% vocal (tone of voice, inflection) and 55% nonverbal.
How to Gain Rapport
So you have copied the breathing patterns and tone of voice. Now you will become the person you’re meeting. You can mirror their:
While you are mirroring, they will almost never notice. Just don’t mimic their gestures while they are speaking. Instead wait until you are talking to mirror those gestures. If you want to be positive they won’t catch on wait to mirror them after a few seconds.
Now that you are sitting as they sit, with the same posture. And, are following the tempo of their voice, breathing, etc. It is now time to go over what I mean by Representational Systems.
Matching Representational System’s
Humans store memories as a series of images, sounds and feelings. As a person talks they will choose a representational system and give you a clue to whether they are remembering a story through images, sounds and feelings.These are the words to look for:
Visual People Talk about
Auditory People Talk about
Feeling / Kinesthetic People Talk about
If you match their representational systems a person will feel completely in sync with you. Here is an example:
Here I am matching the fact that the person with hume I’m speaking, is in a visual representational system. Keep this up and they’ll soon say, it’s as if your reading my mind. The reason they’ll say this is that everything you say will be instantly understandable, because her mind is prepared to understand your visual language.
To read more on Representational Systems, Introduction to NLP read this.
By mirroring and matching you will really stand out from the pack. Here I provide a few more tip’s that will get you building relationships even quicker.
Solving Common Rapport Mistakes
You must convey to the other person, that you are worth getting to know. This is accomplished by changing up your interest in them throughout the first meeting. People want what they think they can’t easily get.
A therapist Carl Rodgers created a solution to the problem that the client might believe you are not really interested in them. This is referred to as “Unconditional Regard”. You need to suspend judgement, and to listen to a person with an attitude that they are a great person and one worth knowing. You can help generate these feelings by imagining that they are someone you already admire.
Do They want to be In Charge or Subordinate
You can recognize if someone feels comfortable in a authority, subordinate, or equality role very easy. When you shake their hand if they place their hand on top palm down they are inacting control and vice versa. If they shake on and equal level they feel equal to you.
Also the first person to look away is subordinate. And the pressure they apply tells much also. Allow them to keep their role, but move slowly toward equality.
Create Wide Rapport
The more stories you tell about different topics, ideas, and themes the more they will sense your
entire personality. This will also make the person comfortable enough to feel they can discuss any of their thoughts with you.
Using Fractionated Rapport
Using Fractionated Rapport Techniques will really hook a person. Here is how to do it.
Focus on the person by giving them your complete attention. Then let your eyes drift away a bit acting briefly distracted. If they raise their voice or in some way try to attract your full attention, you know you’re properly building rapport. When you then fully give them your attention, they will be deeply comforted and trust you more.
Use Rapport Hooks
The use of rapport hooks can allow you to easily get a person interested in you. By creating rapport hooks you will force the other person to struggle to build rapport with you taking
the pressure off of yourself.
You create a rapport hook by starting an interesting story and then before you talk about how you were able to get through the problem you say “to cut a long story short everything worked itself out.”
Another create Rapport Hook, is the introduction Rapport Hook. It’s basic layout includes interesting comment, interesting comment open ended question. Here is one I used recently at a cocktail party in which I knew nobody.
“Excuse me, between finding out how much money my broker lost me and my new born, I forgot to eat today. What looks good on the buffet?”
I just gave this person many interesting things to talk about:
Isn’t this much better than a comment like:
Active Listening Doesn’t Work
Someone out there is thinking, “I thought Active Listening is the way to converse?” Wrong.
Many people use a technique that is called Active Listening. Through active listening we are told to hear what a person says and then reorganize those words and repeat them back in a different way.
They may say “I spent a beautiful day walking through the museum with my baby in my arms
admiring each brightly painted picture. A day like that shows you how colorful the world can be.
What a great world it is to bring up a child.”
Incorrect Response Based off of Active Listening
“I hear you and what better a place to take an infant than a museum. They always smell so clean. You don’t have to worry about them catching anything there. It’s one of the few places you can take an infant and not feel as if they’ll get sick.”
In this conversation many mistakes were made. The first person is a visual speaker, a person that moves towards goals, refers to their baby and has a soft tone.
The second, while trying to find a general interest, speaks in audio and kinetic terms, moves away from problems, refers to the “infant” and even though they’re speaking of a similar experience they are definitely not seeing it in the same way.
Correct Response Based off a Matching Technique
“I see what you’re saying. I spent many a beautiful day with my baby in my arms, walking through the museums and parks, enjoying each bright and colorful day. I used to dress her in a little pink outfit and paint the town. What else did you see that day?”
Active listening can make the person believe you missed the point, that you have misunderstood them. A technique known as tracking back will gain you much better results. By tracking back you actually speak in their language using phrases that they have used.
That’s All Folk’s
Thanks for the question Romeo648! I hope I answered it for you? I could go on and on about Rapport building and I have. If you have any questions about anything, leave them in the comment section below.
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