Don’t you admire people who can comfortably talk with anyone? It seems like they’ve never met a stranger. Would you like to be more like them? You can, if you use a NLP mirroring technique that instantly builds rapport with the hardest of audiences. Mirroring works because people like people who are like themselves.
But in life and business, we must build rapport with many people who are not like us. Even so, you can create a connection with people you don’t feel a natural affinity for. You can mindfully and purposefully establish a common ground with them by using NLP mirroring techniques.
Mirroring is the ability to assume another person’s behavioral style in order to create rapport. This happens only when you’re focused and present with the person as you listen with your entire body, not just with your ears. As Tony Robbins says in a very informative video, “style is more important than substance initially”.
For example, many people greet others with a handshake. But what’s their style? There’s the limp-fish handshake, the full-palm connecting handshake, the bone-crushing handshake, the fist-bump and so many more. If you want to build rapport, even if your style normally differs, you need to match your handshaking style to that of the person you meet. It makes them feel like you’re the same as they are.
Next, determine the parameters of their personal space and stay outside their comfort zone. Otherwise, they’ll feel uneasy and will back up or turn away.
As you stand next to them, notice their reaction when you inch closer to and move away from them. You’ll be able to establish where you ought to position yourself in relation to them.
Now you can begin building rapport in earnest by mirroring the person’s style in these following areas:
Mirroring technique – Breathing
Notice the rhythm of their breathing. Do they breathe shallowly or deeply from the diaphragm? Are they breathing rapidly or slowly? Alter your breathing pattern to closely match theirs.
Mirroring technique – Body Language
Be very subtle as you match their posture, gestures, and movements. You don’t want to offend or annoy them by aping their every action. Are they crossing their arms, sitting on the edge of their chair, tapping their foot, gazing at the floor? This body language is signaling that they don’t feel relaxed or comfortable. Cross your arms and shift your glance away from them often as you being to converse. As they relax, they’ll sit back in their chair and cross their legs. As you shift the conversation, mirror them and cross your legs and so forth.
Mirroring technique – Verbal Language
A person reveals if she or he is predominantly a visual, auditory, or kinesthetic individual by the words used. Visual people say, “I see”, “that looks”, or “I get the picture”. Auditory people say, “that sounds good”, or “we’re on the same wave length”. Kinesthetic people say, “I feel”, “how does that grab you?”, or “I’ll be in touch”. Once you establish which representational system they use, start expressing yourself in a similar manner.
Also, start becoming more aware of NLP eye-accessing cues. This is really fascinating!
- Typically a visual person moves their eyes up at an angle as their memory of an event is in the form of a mental picture. If so, uses visual phrases like “how does it look to you” or “show me what you mean”.
- An auditory individual look directly to the side, as if they’re hearing the recollection. Appeal to him with phrases like “Have you heard…?” “How does this sound to you?”
- The kinesthetic individual looks down at an angle as they remember what they felt. Phrases like “how do you feel about…?” will appeal to this person.
Mirroring technique – Paralanguage
Paralanguage refers to speech patterns – their tone of voice, their pace or rate of speech, their pitch, and volume. By listening carefully to how people speak and mirroring their paralanguage, you can get in sync or in tune with them.
Once you build rapport through this mirroring technique, you can move to the next NLP techniques, that of pacing and leading. Whether you’re a salesperson, a supervisor, a coach or a parent, these NLP techniques will help you rapidly develop rapport and influence.
Whether NLP is completely new to you or you’ve been using it for a while, we have a level of NLP training for you – from beginners to masters! Why not check out our NLP Training Calendar and make plans to attend?