Effective communications and close relationships depend on establishing rapport. Rapport is the common ground that makes people click and brings them together.
Sometimes the process happens naturally and sometimes it requires more effort. Implement these two principles if you want to achieve rapport with anybody in less than five minutes.
Build Rapport by Liking People
1. Focus on good qualities. Everyone possesses a unique combination of strengths and weaknesses. Directing your attention to the positive aspects of another person will help you appreciate them more. Take note of whether they promote harmony at the office or if they dance well.
2. Remember acts of kindness. Take time each day to reflect on all the nice things that others do for you. Picture the neighbor who shares the harvest from their vegetable garden or the coworker who reminds you when timesheets are due.
3. Take pleasure in returning generosity. Strengthen your motivation to pay people back. Give small presents or pass along a news article that would interest them.
4. Share a laugh. Be playful and have fun in order to build rapport with others. Describe a funny movie you just saw. Comment on the odd things you saw as you were driving to work.
5. Do a favor. Studies show that doing favors for people makes us warm up to them. It’s natural that we want to think we’re making a good investment of our time.
6. Recognize your limitations. It’s easy to be fond of people when we realize how much we depend on them. Think of how difficult it would be to grow all your own food and build your own house.
7. Appreciate collective action. We all accomplish more acting together. Consider the value of cooperation and the satisfaction you get from working on a well-coordinated team.
8. Smile from your heart. A sincere smile tells people that you’re happy to meet them and interested in getting to know them. Be sure to smile with your eyes as well as your mouth.
Build Rapport by Being Like People
1. Identify shared traits. It’s obvious to see what you have in common in some settings like clubs or professional meetings. Wherever you are, you can assume that everyone is alike in wanting to be happy.
2. Practice small talk. Casual conversation provides a wealth of information when you’re trying to connect with someone. Share your own experiences or ask follow up questions when someone says they scuba dive or collect antique clocks.
3. Listen carefully. Attentive listening may be even more important than anything you have to say. Tune out any distractions and become a good listener.
4. Dare to disclose. Take a risk in letting people discover more about you. They’ll be flattered by your trust and may be relieved at having an opportunity to open up to you as well. Take turns divulging personal information.
5. Synchronize your approach. Small details make a big impression. Try matching your body language and the pace of your speech to compliment the person you’re interacting with. It helps people to feel more comfortable and connected to you.
6. Clarify your intentions. You’re trying to get along with others because you want to have mutually beneficial relationships. Avoid feeling like a high pressure sales person. Enjoy each other’s company and volunteer your support and assistance whenever you can.
Rapport is all about feeling affection for others and assuring them of how much you have in common. Learning how to establish mutual understanding quickly will help you to take your personal and professional relationships to a new level and enjoy more success in life.