Many believe effective networking is done face-to-face,
building a rapport with someone by looking at them in the eye,
leading to a solid connection and foundational trust.
Effective communications and close relationships depend on establishing rapport. Rapport is that common ground that makes people click and brings them together. Sometimes this process happens naturally and sometimes it requires a bit more effort. Here are two principles that will help you achieve rapport with almost anyone in less than five minutes.
Build Rapport by Liking People
1. Focus on good qualities. Everyone has a unique combination of strengths and weaknesses. Directing your attention to the positive aspects of another person will help you appreciate them more fully. Take note of whether they promote harmony at the office or if they dance well.
2. Remember acts of kindness. Take time each day to reflect on all the nice things that others do for you. Picture your friends who share the bountiful harvest of their vegetable garden or the colleague who reminds you when your time sheets are due.
3. Take pleasure in returning generosity. Strengthen your motivation to pay people back. You can give small presents or pass along a news articles or posts that might be of interest to them.
4. Share a laugh. Be playful and have fun in order to build rapport with others. Describe a funny movie you just saw. Comment on the odd things you saw as you were driving to work.
5. Do a favor, without expectation of return. Studies have shown that doing favors for people makes us warm up to them. It is natural that we want to think that we are making a good investment of our time in them.
6. Recognize your own limitations. It is easy to be fond of people when we realize how much we actually depend on them.
7. Appreciate collective action. We all accomplish a great deal more acting together. Consider the value of cooperation and the satisfaction you get from working on a well-coordinated team.
8. Smile from your heart. A sincere smile tells people that you are happy to meet them and interested in getting to know them. Be sure to smile with your eyes as well as your mouth.
Build Rapport by Being Like People
1. Identify shared traits. It is obvious to see what you have in common in some settings like clubs or professional meetings. Wherever you are, you can usually safely make the assumption that everyone is alike in wanting to be happy.
2. Practice small talk. Casual conversation provides a wealth of information when you are trying to connect with someone. Share your own experiences or ask follow up questions when someone talks about something they like, like scuba diving or collecting antique clocks.
3. Listen carefully. Attentive listening is often more important than anything you have to say. Tune out any distractions and become a good, active listener.
4. Dare to disclose. Take a risk in letting people discover more about you. They will be duly flattered by your trust and may even be relieved at having an opportunity to open up to you as well. Take turns divulging personal information. But, do not over-share!
5. Synchronize your approach. Small details make a big impression. Try matching your body language and the pace of your speech to compliment the person you are interacting with. It helps people to feel more comfortable and connected to you.
6. Clarify your intentions. You are trying to get along with others because you want to have mutually beneficial relationships. Avoid feeling like a high pressure sales person. Enjoy each other’s company and volunteer your support and assistance whenever you can.
Rapport is all about feeling affection for others and assuring them of how much you already have in common. Learning how to establish mutual understanding quickly will help you to take your personal and professional relationships to a new level and enjoy more of the success you seek in your life.