You walk into a meeting with someone you’ve never met before, you extend your hand to shake theirs and look them straight in the eyes. In that instant you’ve both communicated non-verbally. How do you know if you’ve made an instant positive connection?
Rapport is the process of achieving a level of communication that is uncritically accepted by the person to whom you are communicating with. It’s a magical state where the person listening to you, does so carefully and absorbs your message at an unconscious level.
Why is the process of building rapport so important to know about?
• Rapport is the first step in building strong relationships
• Rapport is established in the first 90 seconds or less
• Rapport enhances your interaction with the other person whether they are a prospect, colleague or client
• Rapport techniques are easy to learn and easy to use
• Rapport is the key to effective and more meaningful communication
• Better Rapport = Better Communication = Better Results
The theory of Rapport is based on a study originally completed in 1970 by Robert Birdwhistle called ‘Kinesics and Communication’. In this study, Birdwhistle discovered that communication is multilevel and multifaceted:
7% is Words
38% is Tone of Voice
55% is Physiology
A staggering realization is that, 93% of what we communicate is not words but rather nonverbal and communicated unconsciously. So, in order to establish effective Rapport with someone, we have to do it at an unconscious level. Understanding this and consciously utilizing the techniques available to establish Rapport allows us to effectively build this unconscious connection.
Here are a few ways you can easily build rapport with other people:
• Pay attention to the other person’s language and language patterns; notice the words they use as well as the tone of voice they use when they speak those words. Often people will use repetitive language. If you can play back some of their own words or in their tone of voice, you will be on your way to building rapport.
• Determine their communication style and communication preference. People will use visual, auditory or kinesthetic words in their language and even in their body language. For example, visual people will point to an image or picture or use words like: “picture”, “vision”, “imagine” or “look” in their language when describing items or concepts. People who are more auditory will be more literal and intentional with their language. While kinesthetic people are likely to be a bit more verbose with their language, get closer to you when they speak and use the language of feelings and emotions. Using the other person’s communication style or preference will make you a better listener and communicator.
• Observe their eyes patterns. The eyes will tell you how they think and process information which will allow you to adjust your approach to match theirs.
• Match and mirror body language, voice, words and even their breathing. The more you are in synch with the other person on an unconscious basis the more engaged they will be in your communication with them.
Using Rapport can assist you in creating instant relationships, strengthen communication and get better results in everything you do.
If you are interested in learning more about the many ways you can establish and deepen Rapport, contact Linda at firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-617-0734.
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