If you have it, you’ll know. If you don’t have it, you’ll know. What am I referring to? Rapport. The close and harmonious relationship in which the people or groups concerned understand each other’s feelings or ideas and communicate well. Rapport is like a beautifully choreographed dance where there is synchronicity, almost like an invisible bond tied between you and the other person. Strong rapport is the empathy, togetherness or agreement you form with others. Rapport is created when you are at ease with people, where there are no hidden agendas, judgements or perceived threats. Through effective communication, rapport is built on openness, trust and respect. Where there is any miscommunication, lack of clarity or confusion, this will likely be as a result of failed rapport. In NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming), it is said that where you encounter resistance with someone, this is an indication of lost rapport. It is then your responsibility to find a way to communicate more effectively, to find common ground and to create shared experiences. When you actively listen, you will notice people’s use of representational systems. You will be able to match and mirror their physiology, the voice tonality, choice of words and energy. You will notice the level of detail they are focused on. Knowing that there are only three directions you can take when having a conversation, you can either chunk up into the big picture, chunk down to delve into the details or you can move laterally staying in the current situation. As a coach and podcaster, rapport is the core foundation from which I connect with my clients, my guests and my audience. It Is fundamental for me to build rapport with all those I work with to achieve the desired outcomes. Without strong rapport in my work, all is essentially lost. I never leave this to chance. I focus on rapport. I am a note taker, a prolific note taker at that. Why? It helps me to connect at a deeper level with those I work with. I use the specific language my coaching clients or guests use. Note taking doesn’t break rapport. Using the wrong language breaks rapport. With rapport established, you create optimum synergy. As Stephen R Covey said in his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, think win-win. Approach situations with an understanding of the other person’s point of view. Seek first to understand their needs to identify the key issues or concerns and then work together towards identifying all the possible options and solutions. To become a better communicator, your success hangs in the balance of how you respond to others, how people respond to you, how you hold attention and the rapport you build with your audience. Remember you don’t need to be physically with someone to build rapport. You can achieve this through the written or spoken word. A blog, a newsletter, a book or a podcast will all enable you to bond and establish rapport with your audience. Simply focus on credibility, trust and authenticity. Focus on Rapport!
ACTION POINT When negotiating with someone, try matching and mirroring their physiology, breathing and voice tonality. Chunk up the conversation by asking "For what purpose...?" or "What is the intention...?" to achieve a win-win situation. BOOK RECOMMENDATION* The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R Covey *As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.