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Effective Communication and Building Rapport

Posted 1298 Days Ago in: Personal Success, Tips

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Other people are our greatest resource. From dry-cleaning to a promotion, to that convertible you've been coveting to that great partnership you've been searching for; it takes (more than) two to tango. This is why the benefits of creating and maintaining rapport with others are enormous, so, unless you're a natural, it's an essential skill worth learning.

Other people are our greatest resource. With most things in life, you'll need someone else to help you get it or at least the journey will be much smoother and easier with the help of others. From dry-cleaning to a promotion, to that convertible you've been coveting to the great partnership you've been searching for; it takes (more than) two to tango. This is why the benefits of creating and maintaining rapport with others are enormous, so, unless you’re a natural, it’s an essential skill worth learning.

So what is rapport?

A dictionary definition describes it as "relation; connection, esp. harmonious or sympathetic". It’s all about communicating effectively in your life to strengthen your connection with people and ensure you are understood. It has its roots in the French verb, rapporter, to bring back which describes it nicely as it is a give and take scenario.

Successful communication is equally important between family, friends, lovers, and work colleagues. Personal development expert, Tony Robbins asks: “Is it more important to be right, or more important to be in love with someone?” Good question!

It’s your choice: Win Friends and Influence People (Dale Carnegie’s seminal book, originally written for sales people in 1937 and is still a bestseller) or in the case of journalist Toby Young: Lose Friends and Alienate People.

When you're younger, It's easy to make little effort to maintain rapport with people who simply rubbed you up the wrong way but in hindsight and some age-gathered wisdom, this is not an ideal way of life to create success and effective communication.

If you haven't read Dale Carnegie’s ‘How To Win Friends And Influence People’ the the messages are still as applicable today as in the Thirties - what does that tell you about the basis of great communication?

10 of his building blocks of successful rapport include:

  • Don’t criticise, condemn or complain.
  • Give honest and sincere appreciation
  • Become genuinely interested in other people
  • Smile
  • Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound, in any language
  • Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves
  • Make the other person feel important. And do it sincerely
  • Show respect for the other person’s opinions. Never say, “You’re wrong”
  • If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically
  • Let the other person save face.

By applying even a few of these each week you can see a profound change in your relationships with others. You will automatically become more interested in other people. Not just people who are like you but everyone! 

 

Here are some additional tips for creating better rapport:

  • Make eye contact.
  • Make your body language open. Uncross your arms, avoid covering your heart and turn to face the person you are talking to. This encourages openness and trust.
  • Show that you’ve been listening by asking appropriate questions. Sincerely. Most people spend 95% of their time thinking about themselves. They love it when you show genuine interest in what they’re doing.
  • Find common ground from the beginning of the conversation. Generally, people like people who are like themselves.
  • Listen for verbal thinking preference clues. Is the person you are talking to visual (I see what you’re saying…), Aural (I hear you), Kinaesthetic (How do you feel about?)…
  • Step into the other person’s shoes and try imagining life from their viewpoint. Not a single person on the planet has exactly the same perspective on life as you, yet we often imagine other people see things exactly the way we do ir assume that this should be the case.

Happy connecting!

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