Building Rapport

Rapport happens when you feel you and another person are working together on the same wavelength. It’s something that happens naturally when people know each other well and enjoy each other’s company. It is crucial to find this with your clients, prospective clients and staff so here are some ways you can help it to happen more quickly.

  • Asking open questions then following up for more
    • Who, what, where, when, how – and why (with care)?
    • Tell me more about……
  • Reflecting back and summarising what they have said – facts, feelings and possible implications:
    • This helps you remember but more importantly they feel listened to and understood
  • Mirroring
    Think of two good friends who are deep in conversation with each other. What do you notice? People who have rapport with each other often demonstrate similar physical positions, posture, levels of energy and vocal patterns. They “mirror” each other. So to build rapport quickly, try mirroring the other person.

    • Voice – tone, pace, volume, use of silence
    • Breathing
    • Pace and rhythm of movement
    • Body posture
    • Energy levels
    • Facial expression – direction and movement of the eyes and smile
  • Using their language
Visual “I see what you mean” “Look at it this way”
 Auditory “It sounds like…” “I hear…”
Kinaesthetic “The impact is…” “My hunch is…”(feelings based)
  • Listening and looking for clues about their preferences/ways of experiencing the world and flexing your style accordingly
  • Finding areas of common ground – you may need to reveal something of you first!