Building Rapport so People Like and Trust You
“I feel so comfortable with her. She really gets me.” “I just met her, but it feels like we’re old friends already.” Have you ever felt this way about someone? They instantly put you at ease and you’re sharing things you never thought you would with a total stranger. How do they do it? This skill is called building rapport. And a great way to learn rapport skills is through mastering NLP techniques.
Building rapport involves three main stages – mirroring, pacing and leading. Rapport helps to build trust and effective communication with others. Remember, we communicate through body language, voice tonality and actual words. So, let’s take these stages one at a time and imagine how you can help your upset daughter feel better. Then you’ll be able to apply these exact same skills to every situation in life.
Mirroring: Start with deep awareness of your daughter’s body movements and positions, her facial expression and tone of voice. As you identify each one, match or mirror the same in your own behavior subtly.
If she’s slumping down in her seat and looking at the floor, do the same. If she’s speaking slowly with short sentences, do the same. If she’s breathing quickly, do the same. If her arms are crossed defensively or she’s tapping her foot, do the same.
Ask non threatening questions and try to find some common ground. Notice the way she speaks – the type of words she uses and the speed and tone of voice. Mirror them back to her. If you’re careful, she won’t feel like you’re mocking her. You’ll visibly see her start to relax as she feels the rapport building. This harmony and rapport will put her at ease.
Pacing: Now, you can slightly deepen and slow your breathing. Lower the tone of your voice. Uncross your arms and sit up straighter. You’ll see her start to mirror your new behavior. You can now consciously start pacing a more positive body position. You’ll soon see that she unconsciously notices the shift in your body position and when she follows every time, you can begin leading her to a more positive state.
Leading: Gradually and discreetly change your body posture to a more relaxed but positive state. Lift your head and increased eye contact and start smiling. Start speaking with more energy and volume, but don’t overdue it or be too abrupt, so you don’t startle her. You’ll know you’ve built a solid rapport when she relaxes and starts smiling slightly or she speaks with more animation.
Building rapport takes keen observation, suspending judgment and intentionally leading to a more positive state of mind. You can improve these skills by practicing them at every opportunity and being aware of their effect. Once you know how to build rapport with someone, you can use it to influence and motivate them, making it easier to get to know them and enjoy their company.
If you can make it, we’d love for you to join us for a FREE talk we’re giving on July 7th in Medford, Oregon. Its topic: Choose Your State of Mind. We’ll discuss how you can further use NLP techniques to deliberately go to a chosen state of mind wherever and whenever you wish.