What is rapport? Rapport is when you find you have established a friendly relationship with someone. It is like when you meet someone for the first time and you both instantly bond. For example you can be at a party and you meet someone and you both find that you have many things in common, i.e. you both might like fishing, golf, clay pigeon shooting, etc. you have instantly established an instant rapport with that person.

Why is establishing rapport with people important? Rapport is important because without it you have no positive connection with other people and that's when misunderstandings occur. One of the main reasons you fail to understand someone is because you cannot see from that person's point of view. How many times do you talk to someone and you think that they are having a go at you and only to find out that you just failed to understand them properly.

It is important to understand that anyone can learn to be a good communicator, but of course some people are going to be better than others. For example extroverted and positive people automatically get on better with their fellow humans then shy and withdrawn people. The sad fact is that shy and withdrawn people tend to have a negative outlook on themselves and life in general and assume that no one would want to talk to them. They practise negative affirmations, i.e. "I'm not good enough to mix with them. Why can't I be interesting like them?" The fact is by practising negative affirmations on a daily basis ensure that your low self-esteem is here to stay and that is not a good thing.

The key factors in establishing good rapport with people are that you must be a good listener and observer. If you do not take time to properly listen to the communicator he/she will be aware that you are not interested and go off thinking you are rude. The reasons for you not listening may vary, i.e. you may be shy, tired, worried about something, etc. the fact is that person will just assume you are too preoccupied with yourself and so are not worth knowing.

To gain rapport skills is not hard. It just takes a few basic techniques and you too can become a good communicator in no time. Below are a some basic rapport techniques:
• When in a conversation take a real interest in what that person is saying. Let them know you are in really interested in what they are saying.
• Be aware of their preferred phrases, keywords and subtly start using them in your own dialogue.
• Be aware on how that person likes to take in data. Do they like lots of details or do they see the big picture. As you converse remember to feed back the information to them in the same portion size.
• Be aware how they breathe. Is it slow, medium or fast? It is from the belly, diaphragm or chest. Breathe in harmony with them.
• Be aware on what they are trying to say. What is their underlying intention? They might not get it right, but always assume that their fundamental thoughts are positive and not meant to offend.
• It is important to adopt a similar stance to them, i.e. body language, gestures, voice tone and speed.
• Finally, always respect that person's time, energy, favourite people and money. What's important to that person may differ from what's important to you, but all the same it's what makes that person who she/he is. It is important to note that everybody is different.

When practising these rapport skills please do it covertly. If someone has a distinctive voice, don't mimic them because you will be found out and they will assume you are an imbecile with no manners. Breathing in unison with someone is the easiest rapport technique to start with. When you are confident you have mastered the breathing technique then go on to the other rapport techniques.

Building good rapport skills is fundamental in having a better understanding of how people work and why they do the things they do and say things they say. As the saying goes, "Birds of feather flock together." So don't delay, go and start building rapport skills now!

Author's Bio: 

Belinda Daly is a certified master practitioner in hypnosis, NLP and TLT. She also has a degree in metaphysics.

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