It is possible to use rapport to get along with anyone and yet there are times when you may have good reason for not wanting to develop and maintain rapport.
You know that feeling you get when you meet someone and it seems as if you have know them all your life? A warm and comfortable experience where you just can’t help but like them? That is natural rapport.
What you may not know is that there are techniques you can learn to develop rapport where there is none initially. In difficult times there is even more need for rapport and goodwill between those who we may not agree with.
Rapport is how we get along with people. At the beginning of any conversation, sales call or interaction where we want to get a positive result, it is essential that we find rapport with the other party. We find it naturally in true friendships that are based on respect, empathy and genuineness.
Though you may feel that you have nothing in common with someone and struggle to find ‘safe ground’. There are simple ways that you can begin to develop connections that will build into rapport and maybe even meaningful relationships.
Rapport should be based on sincerity. There is a huge difference between faking it and being genuinely interested in a person. Ask questions, listen and take a genuine interest.
There is usually something you can find to like about someone. even if there is a lot you disagree on. Focus on the positives and remember people are not their behavior, behavior can change.
Look for something that you have in common. It could be a hobby, a love of cars, music, food or sport. There will usually be something you can find that you share an interest in. There are very few people who have no redeeming features. Work on finding something that you like about them or a shared interest.
Recently I was in a situation where I was on the wrong end of some poor customer service. I was ready to give a negative review or make a complaint, when a worker begun to ask me where I was from. In a short time we were chatting away and I had forgotten about the poor service. He had quickly found a connection with me that developed rapport and led me to feel more favorably toward the company.
Be aware of your body language and how you present yourself to others. The simple act of smiling, looking others in the eye and following some simple matching and mirroring techniques can work wonders. I will be covering more of this in an upcoming post.
We are unlikely to like everyone. Sometimes we may just have to accept that we may never be friends. It may be best to keep some relationships professional and distant. If your feelings about someone are strained or there is hurt involved, a time-out may be useful. Give yourself some space and time apart from those you disagree with.
We often make friends with people because we are part of a project, worked together, met through friends or any number of random connections. Before we know it we know everything about their activities, views and politics via their online persona without really knowing them at all. It is perfectly acceptable to let go of people who are no longer a positive part of our life, who we have grown apart from, or who don’t align with our values.
Some people are fine in real life yet their social media personality is toxic. We can end online relationships easily and still stay connected in real life, if that is an acceptable or necessary option.
Rapport can be used to make new friendships or strengthen current ones. There are also times when we don’t want to create a positive connection with someone. If we feel threatened for example, or want to give a clear signal that we are not interested in a romantic advance or a sales pitch. Whether you decide to create rapport, break it or repel it , do it carefully, thoughtfully and where possible with kindness.