“You have within you more love than you could ever understand.” – Rumi
What is rapport? How can we best implement a deep understanding of it to enhance and grow our relationships?
Let’s take a look at some of the basics of developing rapport with others. In a nutshell, what it takes is to:
1) ask questions
2) have a positive, open attitude
3) encourage an open exchange of communications (both verbal and unspoken)
4) listen to verbal and unspoken communications
5) share positive feedback.
Here are some details on each step:
Building rapport is similar to interviewing someone for a job opening, or it can be like a reporter seeking information for an article. Relax and get to know the other person with the goal of finding common ground or things of interest. You can begin by simply commenting on the other person’s choice of attire, if in person, or about their computer, if online, and following up with related questions.
For example, in person, you could compliment the other person on their color choice and or maybe a pin, ring, or another piece of jewelry and ask where it came from. In online communications, you could complement the other person’s font, smiley faces or whatever they use, mention that the communication style seems relaxed and ask if he or she writes a lot. Then follow up, steering clear of topics that could entice or cause arguing, while gradually leading the person to common ground you’d like to discuss.
Next time, we’ll take a look at attitude.
Also, Neuro-Linguistic Programming has some unique insights into rapport, which I will delve into in future blog posts.