Connect meaningfully with others whilst build trust and understanding to create better relationships.
Before we can get into the mechanics of rapport building there’s one vital step you must take. That is to commit to the act of building rapport. By that we mean you have to have the right attitude and dedicate yourself to building rapport whenever you can, with whoever you can.
We’d like you to undertake an exercise. It’s simply one of observation. The next meeting or event you attend, observe the interactions that are taking place. Which ones are working and which ones aren’t? Try to identify the reasons.
Sticking with the notion of becoming conscious of the mechanics of rapport and developing the right attitude, this video looks at why rapport is such a big part of human communication.
When we’re not present to the person we’re speaking to, rapport becomes a fragile thing...
We’ve established that reciprocity is the foundation of rapport and being present to the person you’re speaking with is what creates the connection. It therefore follows that in order to maintain rapport, you have to be focused on the other person.
It’s important to build your questioning skills because questions are the fuel that keeps a conversation going. In addition, they’re the element that drives reciprocity. If you ask someone a question, you’re demonstrating an interest in them. That in turn will lead them to want to engage more with you – thus the conversation continues and rapport builds.
A question asked and then answered by the questioner is a rapport killer and gives the impression of selfishness.
Many people confuse the act of listening with hearing, but hearing doesn’t mean you’re necessarily listening.
By listening empathically, you understand more about the person you’re talking to. By understanding more, you’re more insightful in the conversation. And it’s this sense of insight that creates strong connections.
Remembering someone’s name and saying it in conversation is a simple, yet highly effective way of building rapport. But why is that?
Here are some simple techniques for remembering names.
In the second half of this course we’re going to explore the physical elements of rapport building. Before we do, lets recap on the key points from the course so far.
There's an old proverb that says the eyes are the window to the soul. Throughout classical and modern scientific study, the eyes have been recognised as highly sophisticated communication tools.
When someone smiles it often puts us at ease. We feel that if a person is smiling at us they’re happy and comfortable. And if they’re happy and comfortable then we should be to. It’s an incredibly quick win in the rapport building process, yet so many people fail to employ it.
American poet Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “your actions speak so loud, I cannot hear what you are saying”. Never has a truer word been said about the power of non-verbal communication, or body language as it's better known.
To achieve the right level of energy you need to assess the character and personality style of the person or people you’re speaking to. Then think about your own style. How can you flex it to achieve balance with them?
We’ve explored the need to adopt the right level of energy in a conversation and often it’s the voice that delivers that energy. Too monotone or quiet and we struggle to stay in the conversation. To create engagement you need to use tonal variation.
Building rapport when you’re in the same room as the other person is one thing. It’s a somewhat different matter if they’re halfway across the world. As communication technology becomes more sophisticated, more of us are having virtual meetings and conversations...
For many people their primary business communication tool is the telephone. Entire working relationships can be conducted without ever meeting someone and this is particularly true of international relationships.
Email is a totally man-made solution to communicate across time and space. Because there’s no visual or vocal connection, it’s easy to lose humanity when we communicate like this. But that doesn’t have to be the case.
How do you build rapport with senior people? Or let's just call them 'people'. Because that’s the first thing to recognise. They may have seniority in a business but first and foremost – they’re people.
Rapport is not something that happens overnight. Certainly there are people you click with almost immediately, but for the majority you need to get to know them and build connections over time. That’s why rapport building is a long-term investment.
This final video from the Building Rapport course is an excellent summary of all the takeaways.
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Bringing almost two decades of experience to Working Voices, Allison has coached all levels from beginning career professionals to C-Suite executives on various aspects of effective business communication skills.
Ben is a qualified trainer, coach and teacher with a Bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature as well as a Master’s Degree in Teaching from the University of Albany.
Charlie has many years as a trainer, coach and facilitator under his belt and a recognised expertise in all three. His background in the print media, as a teacher and as a trained actor gives him the skill set, fluency and bearing, essential to a trainer of leadership and allied interpersonal skills.
Chris has been coaching in the corporate arena – across all levels of seniority, with individuals, teams and with large audiences – for the last 20 years. As a trained actor, teacher and comedy improvisation performer, Chris draws on all 3 of his performance disciplines to inform his engaging, innovative and powerful approach.
Derreck is an educator who rejoices in designing worthwhile, demanding and relevant training programmes, delivering those programmes to audiences who’ll benefit from them, and celebrating the transformations that follow.
Jennifer is not just the Head of Working Voices America, she’s also one of our most successful and popular trainers. During her 12 years at Working Voices Jennifer has pioneered our women’s leadership courses, as well as developing and delivering global programs for some of the world’s largest institutions.
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Paul has 16-years’ training and coaching experience for Working Voices at all levels within global businesses. He’s a sought-after voice skills coach, and the leader of our writing-course team. He’s also a trained actor which has proved invaluable in our wide variety of presentation skills courses.
Over 13 years’ coaching and training experience at the highest levels within numerous global businesses, preceded by a presentation history grounded in the creative-design sector, and university guest lectureships.
Sara is Working Voices’ key deliverer of image management and media skills related executive coaching, and, during her 14 years with the company, she has also delivered global programmes for some of the world’s largest banking and financial institutions.
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Being the loudest in the room doesn't make you the most confident. Voice coach and author, Patsy Rodenburg puts this best by describing how we’re always in one of three circles of presence.
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