Rapport is the ability to create connections, build trust, and feel understood. Being in rapport with yourself and others leads to living a successful and enriching life. Rapport is critical to succeeding in the workplace – especially if you are in a sales, marketing, or service industry – to be honest – in all aspects of our life.
Three main aspects of building rapport include:
The ability to gain rapport is an essential skillset if you want to make a connection and build trust with someone. Being in rapport with someone means being on the same wavelength while communicating with that person. Think of a situation where things may have gotten out of hand, either ending in conflict or misunderstanding. If you were to replay that situation with fresh eyes looking for NLP clues of lack of rapport – you would have greater awareness and understanding about how the other people involved view their world.
Using NLP rapport skills gives us greater clarity on what is actually being communicated by paying attention to verbal and nonverbal communication. People connect with people they feel are like themselves. Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) is a methodology that leverages this need for sameness and teaches rapport techniques that instantly build connection, credibility, and trust with anyone. Through the use of these techniques, you will authentically connect faster with anyone, be it family, friends, coworkers, customers, or strangers. NLP teaches us to connect with the unconscious mind in ways that are out of the awareness of the conscious mind.
Ways to build rapport include noticing how we are communicating from the conscious and unconscious parts of us. Words are the conscious representation of what is going on in our unconscious mind. Because words can be ambiguous, it is important to pay attention to the keywords, predicates, pet words people use. When we use the same words as someone, then it gives the feeling of connection because they feel we understand them, and you are like them.
We can also build rapport by paying attention to non-verbal communication, such as breathing, eye blinking, head tilt, posture, gestures, tonality, rhythms, etc. Using the same rate of speech, breathing at the same rate, using the same gestures, etc. can also build connections through fostering the feeling of sameness.
Because we tend to trust and like people who are like us, by employing the following NLP techniques in rapport, you will create the feeling of sameness, thus building rapport.
Pay attention to words – Spoken words have a direct relationship with the beliefs, ideas, and understandings the speaker has about himself, other people, and the world in general. Speech is a representation of thoughts and feelings going on inside a person. When a person listens intently to the words that are spoken by another person and starts using the same words, while in conversation, it becomes possible for him or her to enter the other person’s world and view it in the way they see it. Stepping into the other person’s world gives a better understanding of how that person feels or thinks. This ultimately helps in building rapport, opening up the opportunity to be more influential in the conversation.
Body Language & Other Non-Verbal Communication – Body language or other forms of non-verbal communication, such as gestures, posture, facial expressions, eye movements, etc. are other ways we can connect and build rapport. Body language can be both conscious and unconscious. Pitch, rhythm, and volume of the voice are additional clues of what is happening in the speaker’s inner world. Matching and mirroring the tonality, pitch, and rhythm allows you to build instant rapport
Identify Meta programs– Meta programs in NLP refer to an individual’s habitual patterns that he uses in a given situation. NLP examples of Meta Programs include an individual’s preference for overview against detail, self or others, towards or away from motivation, etc. Speaking to a person meta program will allow them to feel understood and connected.
These are some of the ways of building instant rapport, listening to words used that represent thoughts and emotions of a person, paying attention to body language, and using their meta-programs. Being in rapport helps us to be more connected, effective, and influential in a variety of situations that can include sales, negotiations, hiring process, therapy, our relationships, dealing with conflict, and in many other situations.
Whether it be personally or professionally, being rapport allows us to trust, to feel heard, understood, and connected. When we are in rapport, we treat people nicer, we are more understanding, and we have the ability to influence them to see things from a different perspective. We tend to have more win-win experiences when we are in rapport.