You hear a lot about rapport, but how does it affect you and why should you even care? Well, two people in rapport are inclined to give each other the benefit of the doubt, and are more patient and sympathetic towards each other. When there is rapport it is easier to reach understanding, to resolve differences, to make decisions, and to achieve cooperation. With it, relationships run smoother. So when you want to achieve success in your endeavors, rapport is a good thing to strive for.

Basically, rapport is a quality of the relationship between people. Very simply, rapport is an emotional bond or friendly connection between people based on mutual liking, trust, and a sense that they understand and share each other's concerns, values, and view of the world in this moment.

People want to do business with people that they know, like and trust. Now, imagine what you could do with the skills to develop and maintain rapport with anyone you choose. What could that do for you in business? In your personal relationships?

Buckle your seatbelt – here is a crash course for success in relationships.

1. First, decide that you want to be in rapport with the other person. This tells your body how to behave in ways that you could never do deliberately. By simply deciding that you really want to be in rapport, you are well on your way to harmonizing with them. It uses the power of intention, but more about the power of intention in a later issue.

2. Forget yourself! Focus your attention on them! I want you to do this for two reasons. First, if you focus on the other person, you will automatically be more relaxed and interesting to talk to and you will loose your sense of being self conscious. Secondly, a person can tell if they really have your attention. It’s pretty hard to make someone think that you have empathy with them if you are focused on something else in the room.

3. Make eye contact. Look at the person you want to be in rapport with – look at them in their eyes. There are cultural rules for how many seconds to hold a glaze, etc., but chances are you intuitively know what the subliminal rules are. Did you know that a person’s eyes automatically and unconsciously dilate when something arouses their interest? Even little children are wired to know when they have your attention or not.

4. Use the person’s name. There is no more precious sound in any language to someone than the sound of their own name! We are wired to pick up on that from the time we are born.

5. Match the tone and pace of their talking and share their energy level. If they are speaking softly, speak softly. If they are enthusiastic, ask your questions enthusiastically.

6. Match their breathing. How could you tell that? Please don’t stare at their chest! Just notice the rise and fall of their shoulders - - that will indicate their breathing rate.

7. Use your sensory awareness to make them feel supported, understood and acknowledged. What do you see, what are you hearing, and what do you feel? Absorb information from every one of your senses and use that skill. I once observed a mid level technical lead trying to explain a tight situation to the Vice President of the Division. Had the VP picked up on the rising color in the lead’s face and the slight sheen of perspiration on his forehead, the VP might have taken a different stance or changed the volume of his voice, or said an encouraging word. Can you imagine how much more good quality information on the status of the snafu the VP would have gotten as a result of trying to build rapport rather than trying to intimidate? Your success depends on this.

8. Listen, listen, listen - - ask yourself – what must it be like in this person’s world for these statements to be true for them? Get out of yourself and get into their world, what is it like to be them right now? Imagine that you are Larry King or Barbara Walters and totally immerse yourself in the conversation. It’s your job!

9. You decide to manage your relationships with others so that you are in control of your emotions, and not a victim of your emotions. You especially don’t want to be of victim of theirs! People that have the skills to be in control of their emotions and to manage encounters with others are way ahead of the game, whatever the stakes may be - - business, social or romantic.

10. Body language – these functions are largely unconscious. Watch space zone requirements. Eyebrows lifting.. eye gazes – And SMILE! Matching and mirroring are moving like they do, leaning when they lean, touching your face when they touch their face. Body language is well known for rapport building. Actually it is one of the lowest levels of building rapport, but it still works remarkably well IF - - -see the next point.

11. Go ahead and do the matching, mirroring, etc - - but keep it beneath the radar! Just don’t be obvious or they will think you are mimicking them, and there goes your rapport! These techniques really work and are very powerful for lowering someone’s resistance and barriers. Another thing, keep it ethical! If you are out to manipulate someone, they can usually tell. It’s the opposite of rapport.

12. I’m going to say it again. Focus on the other person! Especially on how they will feel when you are done talking with them! Did you respect them? Make them laugh or feel special? Because . .

13. When it’s all said and done, a person may not remember specifically what you talked about, the place you met, what it was that you were offering or selling, but they WILL REMEMBER HOW THEY FELT WHEN THEY WERE WITH YOU! And that, in one sentence, is the only thing you really need to know about rapport and how it will bring you success on your way to your goals.

Ok, so now you know what rapport is, why you want to be in rapport, and have the simple steps and some good tips how to have success with rapport.

The other key part of rapport that is seldom talked about is how you feel about yourself. If you don't like how you feel about yourself and where you are at the moment, you may not get an opportunity to practice your rapport skills. You'll turn people off, and they will avoid you. It all begins with you feeling good enough about yourself to get yourself and your ego out of the way and tune into others. If you can’t do that yet, you might shortcut your way to success with coaching.

Author's Bio: 

Denise Pederson, Coach Companion, presents an exciting new model of personal development. We empower busy professionals to experience their life and work to the fullest potential through coaching and training with an emphasis on self perception and goal setting to achieve rapid results. Get your success tips at