How to get on with more people
How to get on with more people.
Do you find that with some people you meet you don’t get on and have to force the conversation yet with others it’s like you’ve known each other for years? That’s the difference between having rapport or not.
Developing the ability to build rapport quickly and well is a key NLP tool. It is useful in sales, business generally, relationship-building and personal day-to-day interactions. It’s the feeling of trust and mutual influence that helps us to relax and allow things to flow.
The big picture is that we need to have a genuine interest in others and how they think. Added to that is a willingness to see the world from their point of view. It doesn’t mean that we have to agree with them.
So how can we build better rapport?
Some years ago a clever chap named Birtwistle published his research on communication which showed that only around 7% of what we communicate is by words. 38% is by the tone of our voice and a massive 55% by our physiology. Surprising, eh? We can debate the statistics, but the facts are that when we meet someone, they are much more influenced by how our voice sounds and how we use our body, expressions and gestures than merely the words we speak! If we want better and quicker rapport, these are the areas to work on.
Matching how a person is sitting and positioning themselves is a first. When people are in rapport they naturally adopt similar body positions. They will even cross or uncross arms or legs at same times. If they start to disagree they will choose different positions. This is useful in negotiation because it could be a sign of hitting an area of disagreement. When you are next in a group, try observing the rapport between people. Other physical things to match are gestures, facial expressions, blinking and breathing. Matching to some extent (not copying exactly) the voice tone, speed, quality, volume and origin (stomach, chest or throat) will boost your rapport. This is especially true on the telephone. This one technique helps a lot to get through initial barriers. People area lot more pleasant and helpful! There is a lot more to this fascinating subject which we explore in the Imaginations courses ans seminars.