It’s good to learn a few ways to establish a rapport with people. Knowing how to make people feel like they can connect with you can get you far in your career, your personal relationships, and even when dealing with salespeople! Sounds crazy, but it’s true. The human brain can automatically and subconsciously pick up on little hints that can turn people on to you, or have the opposite effect. Below are my tried and true ways to establish a rapport, so keep on reading!
1. Smile Genuinely
One of the best ways to establish a rapport is to smile, but be genuine about it. Even if you’re not excited to be in the position or place where you are, fake it and make it seem real. People can tell when you are not even trying, and that makes you come across as plastic. A genuine smile is the universal sign of openness, friendliness, and overall pleasantry.
2. Use the Person’s Name
At intervals in the conversation, make sure you insert the person’s name. If it’s business, keep it on a professional level, but calling people by name instantly helps them connect and feel more personal with you. Don’t overuse their name though, as this can come across as trying too hard and even borderline creepy!
3. Mimic the Other Person’s Position
Now this is where it gets a bit tricky! Establishing a rapport with someone can be easily accomplished by mimicking their posture. You do not want to be obvious about this, and you certainly don’t need to mimic play by play. For example, if the person you are conversing with is standing with their hands in their pockets and their ankles crossed, casually tuck one hand into your pocket, and slowly migrate to crossing your ankles.
4. Look for Things in Common
For occasions such as a first date, it’s okay to be more inquisitive and dig a little to find hobbies or dislikes you both share. But for business-centered relationships, you want to look for common goals, or even similarities in dress styles or coffee preferences. You can casually note this in a passing moment, or compliment your boss on her shoe choice if you both happen to be wearing purple pumps that day.
5. Use Emotion to Connect
No matter how disconnected a person may appear, or want to appear, the bottom line is that we all desire to connect via emotion. If your friend is expressing frustration over her broken phone screen, agree with her by mentioning how you had to replace your computer keyboard last week because you spilled coffee all over it. Look for ways to casually and naturally use emotions to establish a rapport with those around you!
6. Don’t Be a Conversation Hog
Conversation flow is vital to establishing a rapport. Make sure you aren’t doing all the talking! It can be easy to jabber on and on when you are eager to make a good impression, but remember that the other person has things they want to say as well!
7. Never Speculate
Speculating and assuming are the number one reasons most of us put our foot into our mouth! If a woman appears to be expecting, don’t jump to that conclusion without first asking. If you think the man in front of you is your best friend’s ex, make sure to ask his name before you flippantly give him the cold shoulder. Speculation won’t help you build rapport!
There you have it, 7 simple steps to establishing a rapport with people! Remember to be natural and keep your tones light and not overly enthusiastic, because people can tell when you are pushing too hard. Building rapport with some people may take time, so be patient and stick with it! What are your tips for building rapport with those around you?