Building rapport is an art. It may happen that you are both are very similar to each other, and then the rapport will be there naturally. However, in most cases, you will have to build it if you want to get benefits from it. And the benefits are huge: building rapport is like making the other person like you. And if they like you, you can lead the conversation to any point you want.
The most fascinating benefit of building rapport is that from the point you have a strong connection, you can change the emotional state of the other person in any direction you want to. This means first you try to mimic the other person and match to their energy, and second, you go slowly toward the energy you want (for example, from negative to positive).
- Change your body language so that it is similar to your interlocutor’s.
This includes general body posture, gestures, facial expression, and eye contact. It cannot be an exact copy of the other person, but it should be close enough to feel the connection.
- Change your voice to match the voice of the other person.
This includes the speech rate, gaps in speech, and tone of your voice.
- Try to match emotions.
When the other person is not in a good emotional state, try to understand the problem and show your sympathy.
- Match breathing.
How can you see the other person's breath? Follow the movement of their nose, chest, or arms.
- Share similar experiences.
Find a story from your life that is similar to a story or situation of your interlocutor.
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