The Importance of Rapport Building and How To Do It

The word RAPPORT has come up a few times this last week:

  1. In the Negotiating and Influencing programme I coach on the faculty suggests rapport building is very important to improving success in negotiating and influencing.
  2. I received a score of 5/5 on a recent London Business School programme with a corresponding comment being: Anne created immediate connection, was empathetic and helped me see things for myself and to draw on my inner reserves. These comments reflect rapport building.

Building rapport is the process of creating connection with another for a harmonious relationship.

Some tips on how to build rapport:

  • Find commonalities between you and the other person
  • Be empathetic – strive to understand what they might be feeling by putting yourself in their shoes
  • Think what the other person’s perspective might be in the given situation so you are seeing it from your side and theirs
  • Listen – to understand as Stephen Covey always said, rather than to respond
  • Ask questions, in a tone of curiosity for the other party and the situation from their perspective
  • Visualize warmth and connection between the two of you as you interact (sounds goofy I know, and human beings can feel energy – ever walked into a meeting room and it feels tense without anyone having to say anything? That’s energy)
  • Smile if it’s appropriate given the situation
  • Share something about yourself that’s genuine – maybe something about what you like about them or about the situation e.g. I appreciate your openness, it puts me at ease
  • Make eye contact periodically – if you stare that can be too intense and if you never make eye contact people might wonder what you’re hiding or avoiding

What situations facing you this week would improve from building more rapport?