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Five Ways To Build Rapport

Posted 844 Days Ago in: Coaching Articles, Personal Performance Coaching

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What we say can create or destroy rapport, but interestingly only 7% of communication is the spoken word. Our body language and our tone of voice are more important than the actual words spoken.

What we say can create or destroy rapport, but interestingly only 7% of communication is the spoken word. Our body language and our tone of voice are more important than the actual words spoken. Many of us have been taught that if you want to succeed as a sales professional all you need to do is be friendly, polite and knowledgably explain the benefits of your products and service to potential clients.

You might need to wine and dine them, understand what their interests are, if they have a partner, a family etc – that’s what rapport is, isn’t it? No, it isn’t. Ok, having an understanding of a client’s interests won’t do you any harm but rapport is a much deeper communication skill. Living things do not communicate with language alone.

Think about animals and plants that don’t have a language, they still communicate with other members of their species and with others outside their species. They do this through non-verbal behaviour, such a changing colour. Well humans communicate non-verbally too! Have you ever admired someone who just knows when to ask the ‘killer question’, or when to stay silent, or when to stop pushing their client? 

If you have, you’re about to learn their secrets! It’s all about reading someone’s non-verbal communications. By heightening your sensory perception (your awareness of the senses- seeing, hearing and feeling) you will develop the skills you admire and be able to develop great relationships.

Rapport skills enable you to quickly put others at ease and create trust. These skills allow you to get on with anyone anywhere, greatly increases your confidence and effectiveness. It also makes it easier for others to communicate with you. Mastering the skill of rapport building requires sensory perception and behaviour flexibility on your part.

Here are 5 top tips to help you build rapport

1. Focus on being interested in the other person, be curious and discover what interests youabout the other person.Consider the other person's beliefs and experiences

2. Suspend judgement - focus on what they are saying rather than your analysis of it.

3. Use questions to find common ground.

4. Quieten your internal conversation. If you become distracted, focus your attention on what the other person is doing, thinking or feeling.

5. Practice matching their behaviour. This is a very powerful form of rapport building.

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