Ten Ways to Use Rapport For Great Connection

in Connection

Creating rapport is extremely important in any relationship. Rapport is the feeling of warmth and trust between two people, allowing effective communication to take place. There are some easy ways to establish rapport effectively with almost anyone. Although it is generally easier to create a feeling of connection with 'people who are like us', we can use what happens naturally between people in good rapport to connect in this way with others. This can be useful when meeting new clients or customers at work or even in defusing difficult situations.

Establishing rapport makes it easier to relate to individuals of any gender, physical appearance or values. It is a natural and instinctive type of connection, and can be observed between two people who are 'getting on well' - they may both be smiling, using positive language, or 'mirroring' each other's movements and behaviour.

Do this for yourself by:
1. Mirroring the posture of the other person, especially the angle of our head and spine. Move so you are in alignment with them and you will start to feel a connection. Observe when you do this anyway.

2. Move in time with them - if they move their hand , you can move yours, or move a different part of your body - tap your foot in time to their breathing or move your hand when they move their foot.You may notice them moving their hands, or changing position, at the same time as you without noticing it themselves - Watch couples when they are out, or old friends or colleagues at work and look for positions that show 'mirroring'.

3. Listen to the type of words they use and use the same ones. People tend to have ways of speaking depending on the way they take in information in the world - they may be more visual, auditory or kinaesthetic in preference and this will affect the vocabulary they use. Using the same words back to them is incredibly powerful and requires excellent listening skills to pick them out. Spend time listening to the type of words others use and start to add them in to your response to them.

4. The tonality of others can also be very different to ours, and the more similar it is, the more you will connect. If they speak rapidly and with a high tone, you can speed your rate of speech up and raise your tone slightly to match theirs. If they are low in tone and slow then you can literally 'lose' them if you try to keep to your normal pace. Slow down and give them lots of time to respond to you, and see the difference!

5. Your fear may be that 'they will notice what I am doing'. This may be the case, but as this happens subconsciously, the person should respond positively to your positioning without knowing why.

6. Leaning forward slightly, establishing eye contact and smiling, if appropriate, are simple ways to increase the connection with the other person.

7. Use your sensory acuity to notice small changes in the other person's physiology and see if you can match them or pick up small signals about their feelings that you may not have been aware of. The more you do this, the easier it is!

8. You can even breathe at the same rate. This can be one of the most amazing ones to try. Do it on the tube or train and start to breathe at the same time as one of the other passengers and see how they respond. This is a deep unconscious link we can establish with others.

9. Being at the same level is important. We often do this automatically with children - getting down to the same level and finding a comfortable space for them to make eye contact with us, and can be done with adults too. Keeping a desk between you, or standing when they are sitting or vice versa will not enable great communication and connection with you, however 'safe' it makes you feel.

10. Have fun with this! Try new things and understand that we do all these things anyway, but we can choose to do them more to get better results in our relationships with patients, clients and colleagues.

Author Box
Claire Westwood has 1 articles online

Claire is a nurse, life coach, writer, speaker and Director of http://www.happynurses.co.uk, and the author of 'The happynurses guide to Creating a Balanced Life - the 12 week coaching plan for busy nurses'.

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Ten Ways to Use Rapport For Great Connection

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This article was published on 2010/03/28