Building Client Rapport

The first and most important part of a Coach’s relationship with our clients is to establish “rapport”. Why?  Because it creates a harmonious connection which is a practical skill that can be mastered through NLP tools and techniques.

Rapport is a conscious process of establishing an understanding, consensus-building relationship with their client.  The purpose is to promote a feeling a of comfort, familiarity, relatability, and communication all at the unconscious level. 

There are many situations in which we might want to have rapport.  NLP teaches you ways to instantly build credibility and trust with anyone.  NLP techniques are simple to learn and apply that will let you build rapport much faster with whomever you communicate with.  It’s especially useful with family, friends or co-workers, those within whom you have a level of relationship.

Building Rapport Starts with Paying Attention

Ways to build a rapport include the use of predicates, pet words, breathing, eye blinks, head tilt, posture, rhythms and many other things. Even just learning 3 or 4 of these helps you to be more balanced in your thinking and to understand your mind.

NLP teaches you how representations in everyday communications can guide you to asking the right questions and above all, to expect and elicit high quality answers. Your client’s high quality answers will provide you a window into their experience of the world.  Through this window, you’ll be able to more effectively guide them to healing.

Create better relationships with clients, family, friends and business relationships.

 These 3 NLP techniques will start you on your path to building instant rapport with whomever you want.

  1. Match your words – Words reflect the beliefs, ideas and understandings we have about ourselves, others, and the world in general.

So, when we listen closely to the words others speak, then use the same words in that conversation, it becomes possible to enter the other person’s world and see it as he or she does.  Doing this, we develop a better understanding of how that person feels or thinks.  Understanding that allows us to build rapport, and more easily become more persuasive and influential.

  1. Observe non-verbal cues – Non-verbal elements of our communication such as gestures, postures, facial expressions, eye movements, etc., are as important and convey more information than the words we use. Non-verbal cues can be both conscious and unconscious and besides the above also includes the pitch, rhythm and volume of the voice. Matching the tone of voice, pitch and rhythm lets you build instant rapport.
  2. Identify Meta programs– Meta programs in NLP refer to our habitual patterns that we uses in any given situation. NLP examples of Meta programs include our preference for big picture vs. details, moving towards what we want vs. moving away from what we don’t want, whether we delete information or distort it, and whether we look for things that are the same or we see differences.

Using these NLP tools is learning to appreciate and understand another’s model of the world or to put it another way, their map of reality and then communicating that back to them in a way that establishes trust.  The unconscious mind loves sameness so when we connect on our similarities and commonalities it fosters high levels of trust and gives others the feeling of being heard, appreciated and understood.

Can you imagine how that could positively affect all of your relationships?

These are just some of the ways of building instant rapport. Listening to words representing thoughts and emotions of a person, paying attention to non-verbal cues, noting their meta-programs and using them to the best advantage can be immensely helpful in a variety of situations that can include sales, negotiations, in the hiring process, therapy and many others. The higher the rapport level the more harmonious will be the connection and lead to better empathy and understanding towards other people.