Sometimes we just click with people and sometimes we just don’t.........
What is rapport?
Rapport is a positive relationship between two people, and you feel in sync with them. It may feel like you’re on the same page as each other, which can be great, especially when working with someone.
Why is rapport important?
If you’ve ever worked with someone and just hit off straight away, you’ll know that rapport sometimes comes naturally. Maybe it’s because you have a similar sense of humor or maybe it’s just simply because you trust in their ability to do a good job. Think about someone you have a great working relationship with such as a colleague, manager, or maybe a favourite client, and why you have such a great relationship with them…….
- They're easy to work with
- You enjoy talking to them
- They rarely let you down
- You trust each other
- They make doing your job easier
If you have a great rapport with someone you have a connection, your relationship is built on mutual trust and understanding, and this has can be incredibly beneficial in the workplace. In a customer service environment, rapport building is a great way to gain a customer’s trust and loyalty, in sales, it’s how you build confidence in the products that you’re selling and at home, rapport is what new and existing friendships are built on.
How to build rapport
Don’t worry if you don’t have rapport! It is something that you can improve and build on through your communication and interactions with those around you. Think of rapport as if you were building a house, you are laying down the foundations and then adding and building in stages.
By following these simple steps, it will help you start to the building blocks of rapport:
- Find common ground, it’s much easier to build a relationship when you have something in common, even if it’s just something like the weather or the terrible traffic that morning. You may have shared interest in travel or pets. Small talk can give you something familiar that helps people relate to each other. Try and avoid controversial topics though i.e. politics or religion!
- Be sincere and genuine, don’t pretend to be interested in something that you’re not. You will get found out and this could damage the relationship before it has even started.
- Showing empathy and understanding are key to building rapport. The ability to see things from another’s perspective is so important in all relationships. You may not necessarily agree with the other person but, you do need to be able to understand them.
- Ask open questions and listen- so rather than yes and no answers it opens up the possibilities for answers and encourages conversations. Upon their response, listen to what they are telling you and remember things that they have said. Remembering small details and using them, later on, helps the other person feel listened to and understood. It can make someone’s day that you have remembered something about them, which in turn starts to build the connection between the two of you and adding another layer of the building blocks.
Once you have built rapport you need to maintain it!
Just because your house is now built doesn’t mean that it won’t need some maintenance. Keeping rapport and building your relationships is an ongoing project, with lots of little actions done consistently and regularly over time, rapport will ever be present.