How to Establish Rapport
Now, how do I establish Rapport, and then how do I know when I’m in Rapport?
To establish Rapport, the process is to completely match or mirror, what the other person is doing. When I’m training people in Rapport skills they often ask, â€œWell how can I do that, they’ll think I’m making fun of them.â€ You do need to be subtle when doing matching and mirroring, but typically most people are in a trance when talking anyway. They’re so caught up in what they’re going to say next that they are rarely fully aware of what you’re doing. And if they do, you can have a good laugh about it.
Calibration is one way of testing whether you’re in Rapport with someone. Simply, that means you need to develop your sensory acuity to such an extent that you can begin to see peopleâ€™s reactions to your communication. Watch their eyes, the muscles around the eyes, the lower lip, the color of the face and hands, the breathing. These are all indicators of Rapport.
In addition there are some indicators that happen in your own body that you can notice. As you begin to go into Rapport, there’s a certain, specific physiological feeling that begins to occur in the body. It happens in the area of the legs, and chest, and could almost be described as a feeling of nervousness or anticipation. The next thing that happens is that you can feel the color in your own face begin to change. It’s a feeling of warmth in the face that rises up from the neck. As you notice this, you can also notice, within about one minute, the color in the other person’s face increases. The change in color usually happens one minute after you notice the internal feelings. Usually within another minute or so, the person you’re talking to will say something like, â€œ…and (your name), my good friend here…â€ or â€œI feel like I’ve known you for years…â€ They may even use the word â€œRapportâ€ or â€œtrustâ€ to describe what they’re experiencing.
Even if you don’t have an experience of these indicators of Rapport, there’s another way that you can tell. This process is pacing and leading the other person. After you’ve matched and mirrored a person for say, 5 or 10 minutes, you can then begin to lead them and to lead their behavior. Successful leading is another way you can tell if you’re in Rapport with someone.
Establishing Rapport is also important in the case of interpersonal relationships, say with a member of the opposite sex. What you’d want to do first of all is to establish Rapport with them. Get into Rapport. Match or mirror them so that they begin to trust you, feel good about you, and have good internal representations about who you are. You may recall times that you’ve done the opposite, I certainly have. And I’m sure that the other person thought that I was a totally inept person (at best). At worst, there’s no trust. Rapport is an important process in both business and in interpersonal relationships.
To become a master of Rapport it is always best to have Coaching from someone who is already good at Rapport. That happens in the NLP Coaching Practitioner and Master Practitioner trainings. If you want to be a master at Rapport join us at the next one near you.