Rapport building is the art of helping another person minimize their perceived difference between themself and yourself. This can be achieved by tactfully allowing the other party to see the common ground in your personality or point of view. Rapport happens at the subconscious level but here are a few ways that you can consciously help the process along.
1. Rapport Starts At The Beginning
The best time to start building rapport is when you interact with a person for the first time. Then each subsequent time that you meet ensure that you start by re-establishing rapport.
2. Give Appreciation and Importance To Others
Accept that the most important person in the world in the eyes of most people is themself.
When interacting with someone else allow them to feel important. The easiest way to do this is to learn their name and use it often during your conversations.
If you are involved in some task with others, you can help them feel important by trusting them with appropriate responsibility and showing appreciation for their contribution. In fact, why not make a habit of showing genuine appreciation for things well done in all interactions with others.
3. The Skill Of Asking Questions
Remember that the person asking the questions is leading the direction of the conversation. Ask interesting questions that allow the other person to talk about themself or their interests and then listen attentively to what they are saying.
4. Active Listening
Listening is a skill and it’s easiest learned if you develop the habit of being genuinely interested in other people.
Allow the other person to do most of the talking unless they are specifically asking for your contribution or opinion.
Give them positive feedback followed by non-threatening questions that allow them to expand on what they are saying.
5. Keep Your Ego Under Control
Ego has been responsible for breaking rapport on more occasions that any other behaviour. Ego is a sign of low self worth. If you develop a strong feeling of self worth then you will not have the need to allow your ego to get in your way.
Be willing to admit you are wrong when you are. Do so quickly and happily and gratefully acknowledge the other person’s role in helping you see your error.
Be willing to allow others to take credit for your good ideas if it helps you achieve your desired end goal.
Rather than argue for your point of view every time you are challenged, encourage the other person to express their point of view. If you do have to state an opposing point of view, acknowledge the value of their point of view first and then tactfully promote the additional benefits of your ideas. Gently lead them to your desired outcome by concentrating on the ways in which they would receive benefits, that they really want, from adopting the point of view that you are promoting.
Nothing breeds friendliness like friendliness.
Develop a friendly nature and establish a habit of smiling often. A friend is generally much more valuable than an enemy and your life will travel a lot smoother if people like you.
Rapport building is an easy skill to learn and it is extremely valuable in both your personal and your business life. People like to help people that they like and people like to do business with people that they like. It all starts with building rapport.