How to Build Rapport

Have you ever ‘clicked’ with someone and felt that you really liked them, without truly knowing then that well?

How about at a party with strangers, have you ever found yourself feeling more at ease with some rather than others, even though you don’t know any of them?

Why is learning to build rapport good

Being able to build rapport with another person is a great skill to have when used ecologically. It allows you to connect with another person so they trust you more – here are some examples of when building deep and meaningful rapport is good to do:

  1. For anyone that works as a coach – being in rapport with your client allows that client to feel at ease, this gets a better result for the client as they hold less back
  2.  Anyone that works in education –  if a student trusts you they will learn better and faster by listening to your advice
  3. Those in the medical profession – patients tend to open up more to professionals they trust and often patients can be nervous or anxious, so if that patient trusts you it allows you to deliver a more relaxed and quality service

There are many other examples… but what do you notice about the ones above?

The client always has a better experience because of it!

This is what is known as an ecological technique in NLP and is the perfect way to use rapport building techniques.

How to build rapport

There are many ways to build rapport – most work best when you practice the techniques so that you are able to do them unconsciously without thinking.

  • Match your clients breathing. This brings your physiology in to line with one another. TOP TIP if the client is a woman then it may not be appropriate to look at her chest going up and down, and sometimes you can’r see a client breathing anyway! So when she is talking, breath out while she speaks, and breathe in when she stops – this way you’ll be in time.
  • Match their body movements. If they have their legs crossed, do the same. Or perhaps (and a little more subtle) cross another part of your body. If they lean forwards match that movement.
  • Blink in time. Again this will allow you to be totally in tune.
  • Reflect their choice of words back to them. If they use visual words (see, looks, visualise etc) then use this language too – it may feel akward to you but it will allow you to build rapport faster and deeper.

Give it a try. The nest time you are in a meeting with lots of other people and its all going well, just take a look around the room. I bet all the people’s body language will be in time, they’ll all cross their legs together and lean back in their chairs together – this is true rapport in action.

If  you then deliberately mismatch these actions you’ll feel your body stepping out of rapport. You may even notice other people looking round at you and a shift in the energy in the room.

This really is a powerful technique, use it wisely and carefully.

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