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Ways to Establish Rapport

Making friends were never without establishing rapport. In fact, every relationship starts with rapport. building-rapport


  • If you want to make a good first impression to a prospective lover, you have to build a good rapport.
  • If you want to sell a product to your target market, you have to build a good rapport.
  • If you want to influence and persuade your teammates, you have to build a good rapport.
  • If you want to inspire and motivate your students, you have to build a good rapport.
  • If you want to capture focus and create intense interest to your listeners, you have to build a good rapport.

According to Albert Mehrabian, Ph.D., professor emeritus of Psychology at the University of California at Los Angeles, 93 percent of communication we use is nonverbal. The key elements of successful communication are divided into three parts. 7 percent is for what we say, 38 percent of how we say it, and 55 percent is based on our expression.

In the 2001 FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, investigators shared their subtle rapport building techniques for interviewing subjects using Neuro-Linguistic Programming. NLP is an approach to communication, personal development and psychotherapy studies with a set of guiding principles. It is often used by hypnotists. Sometimes using rapport gives us the power to get others to do exactly what we want or as we call it conversational hypnosis. If you want to know how to almost read people’s minds or get them in a trance or more about the benefits of conversational hypnosis you might want to check out conversational-hypnosis.com. Though hypnosis is a very different form of communication, like any other forms of communication, rapport building is essential. Here are some effective ways to establish rapport according to the FBI investigators:

  • By Matching Language (7%)

We use words to communicate with others. What we say reflects what we think. One thing the investigators observes is the eye movements. When a person looks up he or she maybe constructing (left) or remembering (right) visually. If they look sideways they may be using auditory senses. And if they look down, they are using kinesthetic (left) or digital remembrance (right). The representational system such as visual, auditory and kinesthetic are used to relate our experiences and is predominantly match what we speak. We used statements based on our preferred system. We should match them as well and encourage to processing information. Always observe how they pick up words and phrases, how they handle information and communication modalities used to understand them better and response appropriately and emphatically.

  • By Matching Paralanguage (38%)

It is believed to be the most effective way to begin rapport. Paralanguage is how we say something through speech patterns, tempo, and volume, pitch, with or without modulation and pauses, and tone of the voice. If they are loud or soft-spoken you need to somehow match their tone in a way they will not feel being mocked but understood. According to International Listening Association, a network of people committed to the development of effective listening in professional and personal life, 85 percent of what we know have learned by listening. Getting in sync is easy if you listen carefully and pay close attention to how they speak.

  • By Matching Kinesics (55%)

Matching body language is the easiest and the most obvious technique to building rapport. Expressions in gestures, actions, as well as their posture and arms, hands, legs and feet movements, should match and mirror mutually and inoffensively. Here is some common body language to help you decode and build rapport with ease.

  • More Tips on Rapport

  1. Shake hands firmly
  2. Look people in the eye
  3. Smile
  4. Hold your head up and maintain good posture
  5. Ask good and open-ended questions
  6. Be sincere and genuine in giving out appreciation and compliments
  7. Face the person you are talking to instead of looking at your computer screen or mobile phones.
  8. Avoid the 3 C’s (Criticize, Condemn, and Complain)
  9. Find common ground by showcasing your similarities
  10. Use matching and mirroring
  11. Stay upbeat and be approachable, warm and friendly and look your best
  12. Use their names as a sign of acknowledgment and respect
  13. It’s okay to disagree. Diffuse tension by acknowledging and appreciating differing opinions

  • What Not To Do

  1. Being too pleasant to the subject by holding back, sacrificing your own ideas and emotions to not offend others.
  2. Trying too hard to achieve an outcome that shows in your anxious speech and body language
  3. Expecting something from another person too much leading to being pushy
  4. Not having sufficient genuine interest in your subject due to preoccupied minds and disrespect
  5. Playing the wrong role or social status during an engagement
  6. Focusing solely on deep, contextual rapport that will limit your ability to communicate in any situation

    How to Re-establish Rapport.

    If you have had a rough patch with someone, making amends won’t be easy. Here are some tips to help you:

  1. Confront
  2. Be humble
  3. Explain honestly and simply what happened
  4. Apologize if needed
  5. Focus on repairing any broken trust
  6. Make extra effort and keep your word

Being on the same wavelength as the person you are talking to is the objective of establishing rapport. With its many purposes, you’re entire interpersonal communication skills will be enhanced with these easy to remember and FBI approved ways to build not only good rapport but also relationship.