Building Rapport With Just About Anyone
In this post our trainer Shaun guides you through how to forge strong relationships with the different people you meet each day including, if you're a trainer, your delegates.
True communication requires a connection between people. When you want to build rapport with someone at work, at home, on a course, in a relationship, when trying to sell something or when trying to buy something, you should consider the following tips:
Learn all the skills you need to build rapport with your delegates on our Train the Trainer Course.
It may seem unfair that we are judged on our appearance but research indicates that people form a lasting impression of us within the first five minutes of meeting. Make sure you make a great first impression by dressing to impress, smiling and being assertive (which also leads to greater self-confidence!) and giving a firm handshake.
Finding Common Ground
Finding common ground or common interests is a good way to start a conversation. For example talk about work, sport or children and remember this common ground for future conversations. People will be much more open and trusting if they recognise a bond between you.
You are certain to create an unfavourable impression if you don’t look people in the eyes.
People who don't make eye contact make others nervous and are regarded as shifty and untrustworthy: neither of which are things you want people to think about you!
Although it can go the other way (!):
Develop awareness and sensitivity to your own body language and that of others. Unfold your arms, uncross your legs: both can be misread as disinterest. An effective listener notices all aspects of communication and is aware of voice tone, facial expression, repetitive movements, and muscle tension.
Watch out for inconsistencies between words and nonverbal communication. Nonverbal communication is often more of an accurate indicator of intent than verbal communication. You can learn more about verbal and nonverbal communication on our Assertiveness Training.
Matching and Mirroring
Matching is verbal and Mirroring is non-verbal. Mirroring body language will psychologically cause others to identify with you. Matching and mirroring is an unconscious mimicry by which one person tells another that they are in agreement with their ideas and attitudes.
People tend to trust people that they believe are similar to them. Try not to be too obvious though; be natural.
Engaging with what people say takes real listening skills. Unfortunately, we are often busy thinking about our response instead of truly listening to what is being said.
I suggest that you occasionally repeat what the other person says. Restating in your own words serves to clarify communication but you deepen rapport when you use their words.
Don’t Forget REG!
The three most important aspects of building rapport is R.E.G.
- Respect: respect differences, don’t make assumptions.
- Empathy; use active listening to put yourself into the other person’s shoes, see what they see and feel what they feel.
- Genuine; don't try to be anything you are not.
Hopefully that had helped clarify how to build strong relationships with new people, if you have any other tips, feel free to comment below.
Finally, good luck implementing these ideas into your everyday encounters!
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