Mysteries of Rapport

Rapport. That magic feeling of trust and friendship when we see that we are on the same “wave length” with another person. The times when you meet someone, instantly like them, and say to yourself, “We’re a lot alike”. We have all felt this, but do you know how to actually create it?

The co-developers in the field of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) began studying people who had the ability to develop rapport quickly with others in client/patient environments, family relationships, sales situations, and other contexts. Since then, thousands of managers, sales professionals, teachers, therapists, parents, doctors, attorneys, students and countless other people from all over the world are benefiting by the simple applications of rapport techniques.

Put this into practice. Take a few moments each day to master and utilize the following techniques and suddenly you will see, hear, and feel a profound difference in the way people respond to you. Use it when making a sale, on a first date, when talking to your teenager, when dealing with your boss or employee, and especially when you want to “get through” to someone you are having trouble with.

Match the other person’s non verbal posture. Stand like them, walk like them and sit like them. Notice how they move and remain still. Adopt your posture so that it is a match or mirror image of theirs.

Do the same with the gestures they use. If they fold their arms and lean back or if they cross their legs, you do it too. Shake hands like they do. If it’s like a wet rag hand shake, give ‘em one back. If it is a firm one, same thing.

Subtly is the key. Do this discreetly. If you follow them too quickly it may appear as if you are mimicking them. You want the matching and mirroring to remain outside their conscious awareness.

Match their voice, also. If they speak in hushed tones, or in loud boisterous tones, you do the same. If they speak fast or slow, you can speed up or slow down, and so on.

After a few moments of matching and mirroring, gently begin to use the voice tone and posture which is comfortable for you. When you have established rapport, the other person will begin to follow your movements.

Rapport is like a dance where one leads and the other follows. If the person has picked up your lead, you know you are on your way to establishing a good relationship based on mutual respect. If not, match until he/she follows your lead.

Why is this effective? Researchers say that matching posture, gestures, and voice tone send signals to the unconscious mind which say: “Hey, I am like you.” Since people like people who are like themselves, you’ve already made great strides in the first few minutes of any meeting or sales call.

Have a blast with this! The key to learning is to experiment and enjoy yourself. Until next time….

To your ultimate success!

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