“Rapport is the ability to enter someone else’s world, to make him feel that you understand him, that you have a strong common bond.”
Have you ever felt an instant connection or attraction with someone you are meeting for the very first time?
Or instantly trusted someone you didn’t really know or before they even said a word.
Most of us are not born with the skills that make us instantly likeable. The secret to being likeable is in the ability to create instant rapport.
When you are able to relate to others in a way that creates a level of trust and understanding, this is known as rapport – a connection, a relationship or a state of harmonious understanding.
Rapport is the reason some people have the ability to start a conversation and immediately draw people in. And it is one of the most important characteristics of unconscious human interaction.
You might not agree or even like another person’s perspective but by understanding their point of view, and get them to understand yours, you have created rapport. And your ability to create successful interactions will very much depends on how well you can establish rapport.
If you want to be a skillful communicator, here are 8 strategies that will make you instantly likeable. You might find that this skill will allow you to create magical connection with virtually anyone you meet.
First impressions are almost instantaneous. As the saying goes: “You’ll never get a second chance to make a great first impression.”
Two psychologists from Princeton revealed that one tenth of a second is all it takes to form an impression of a stranger from their face. Once an opinion is formed in that span of 0.1 seconds, longer exposures don’t make much difference.
First impressions are crucial because they tend to be long lasting and indelible.
To create an instant connection with the person you are communicating with, you must first understand that person’s “representational system.”
Although ‘representational system’ is a bit of a mouthful, don’t be overwhelmed by it. Your five senses (seeing, hearing, feeling, tasting and smelling) absorb and store information that is coming to you in your daily life.
When you decode all the information, your mind will “re-present” the information in visual, auditory or kinesthetic form. These are the three primary representational systems used by everyone. And each person would have one system that they prefer the most.
If you detect that the person you are conversing with talk in visuals, you can use words like “do you see what I mean?” or “do you get the picture?”. When using the same representational system in a conversation, rapport happens on the subconscious level – which means it is almost instantaneous!
Someone who prefer auditory cues will say something like:
“This doesn’t sound right” or “that rings a bell.”
In these instances, you can match his or her cue by responding with a sentence that contains auditory words:
“I can hear what you are saying” or “This doesn’t sound right.”
By doing this, you are, in essence, “speaking the same language”.
One universal truth about rapport building is – ‘people like people who are like them’.
Finding a common ground can create immediate trust. The more shared interests you can uncover, the greater will be your ability to establish rapport. People feel most comfortable around those who are like them – they feel that their point of view is understood.
Living in the same city, graduating from the same college, similar interest in sports, entertainment or hobbies are common grounds that can help you make a faster connection.
What if the person you are trying to communicate with have nothing in common with you? Or you don’t know anything about that person?
The secret to creating an instant rapport with someone who don’t share anything similar with you is this:
93% of communication happens at an unconscious level.
According to the 7-38-55 Rule of Communication, your words’ impact on communication is only 7% while your tone of voice makes up another 38%. The remaining 55% comes from your body language, speech pattern and facial gestures.
If you are able to subconsciously communicate a message that says, “You and I are the same” then people will instantly like and trust you and not even know why.
One surefire way to create instant rapport is by subconsciously communicating signals that you are “just like them”. You do this copying their body language, mannerisms, and repeating their words.
This technique is known as mirroring. Just as the name suggests, you ‘reflect’ their movements back to them.
The more someone believes you are like them, the easier it is to develop trust and rapport at the unconscious level. But you got to do it at a subtle level because if you appear to be mimicking the other person – it not only breaks rapport; the other person might get very offended.
You can switch between mirroring and matching to maintain a level of subtlety. While mirroring requires you to copy their behavior, with matching, you wait for a few seconds before discreetly assuming the same pose.
With practice, you can even match a person’s tonality, physiology and breathing.
This is where you intentionally match and mirror the person you want to create rapport with. You start pacing by going along with whatever the other person is doing. During the conversation, you can paraphrase by rephrasing what you heard in your own words. Or simply repeat what is being said.
Nodding in agreement is also a good way to gain rapport because you are giving an indication that you are alike in some ways and also similar in your thinking.
Once you detect signs that rapport has been created, you can start switching up your communication and allow the other person to unconsciously match and mirror you. This is where you lead.
When rapport is established in this part of the conversation or interaction, you can even influence the flow of the conversation and take lead.
Here is where it you lead the conversation to wherever you want it to go. You can even make them change their minds and agree with your point of view.
When you are practicing active listening, the other person will feel that you are truly paying attention to them. Also known as empathic listening, it involves skills such as paraphrasing the other person’s message, asking questions when appropriate and displaying the right non-verbal cues.
Mark Twain once said, “If we were supposed to talk more than we listen, we would have two tongues and one ear.” And people of charisma are aware of this because they are masters of active listening.
Charismatic people have the ability to garner a lot of respect because they make others feel valued, important and worthy. The main reason being that they are great listeners and let other people do the talking.
Creating instant rapport requires you to work on both your conscious and unconscious mind. To help you acquire these strategies at a greater speed, there is no other method quicker than having all these skills embedded into your subconscious mind via hypnosis.
You can use the following “Confident You” hypnotic script to help you become adept at making instant connection with anyone you meet.
Gently close your eyes and take a deep breath…with each breath you are feeling more and more comfortable and more and more relaxed…where ever you are now…you are experiencing a very calm and confident feeling…even if you can hear sounds coming from around you… it only helps you to relax even more…
Count down slowly from 10 to 1…with each number…you will begin to feel more and more relaxed…10…slowly relax as you take a deep breathe…9…8…let yourself slowly sink deeply as you become more and more relaxed…
7…you are feeling absolutely great about yourself…6…drifting slowly…5 with each breathe you are feeling calm…comfortable…relaxed…4…3…that’s right…just allow yourself to drift…slowly…more relaxed…2…1…
You are feeling very calm…very confident… and very relaxed…imagine yourself walking with confidence into a special place…a place you can create to be anything you like…and you feel comfortable and at ease here…as you look around you… perhaps you are by yourself…
Or perhaps there are people…it does not matter…if there are people here… they are all friendly people…people who will give you all their support…In this place…your confidence overwhelms any unwanted feelings that you have…
While you are exuding confidence…and feeling good about yourself…you think about how good you look…you mind is filled with positive thoughts only…now…take a deep breath…and as you breath…you breathe in all the positive things about yourself…and as you breathe out…all negative thoughts that you might have will disappear…
Because you exude confidence and charisma…you are excited to meet new people…and you are able to create instant rapport with anyone you meet…you have all the skills and necessary to do that…especially while using the strategies you have learned here on this post…and you realize how easy it is to start a conversation…
Make a good first impression…and get into the flow of things…and…
Because you know how to be engaged in a conversation from the very start…and easily be completely focused on what the other person has to say…and whether you are engaged in a conversation or simply just mingling with people…you are feeling calm…at ease…and filled with confidence…
Wherever you may be…it is a comfort zone for you…and you can exude your confidence and charisma effortlessly…anyone who gets into a conversation with you will enjoy what you have to say…
They also appreciate that you listen actively to their every word and ask questions when is an appropriate time to do so…you can keep the conversation going and…by pacing and leading…you can lead the conversation to any subject you like…
Now…as you take a deep breath…and your mind filled with calm…confident…and positive energy…. you can just relax and enjoy this moment…and in a few moments time…you will be waking up…and you will wake up fresh…empowered…and confident…and filled with positive energy…
Upon awakening…you can feel your confident energy…and you can handle any social situations…you have all the skill and knowledge necessary to help you create instant rapport with anyone you meet…
You begin by creating a fail-safe first impression…and because you understand the way people communicate…you are able to find a common ground with the people you want to communicate with…
And you can skillfully communicate at both the conscious and unconscious level…you can also subtly match and mirror their body language with ease and confidence…
And pace and lead as the conversation progresses…and you display a charismatic personality because…you practice active listening all the time.
Whether you are building a relationship in a social or a business setting, the main objective of establishing rapport is creating relationships that result in mutual trust and openness.
To get these strategies to work for you, you got to put them to practice. Maybe not all at once, just in case you feel overwhelmed. Try out these strategies one at a time.
Perhaps you can test it out with someone close (friends, family or a work colleague) to begin with. Some of the strategies might need a little more time and practice in order for it to become part of you.
When you have gained the other person’s trust, understanding and respect – it simply means that you have successfully get on the same wavelength with the other person. You have transcended boundaries by “speaking their language.”
That is the moment you know you have achieved rapport.