Rapport helps create and strengthen positive relationships built on trust and understanding; it is not something you can build overnight. However, you can do a few things to quicken the process:
- Share a little of yourself. To trust and respect someone, you need to know a little about that person. Share with your co-workers and employees a bit of your background and history. Communicate what you think and believe. Open up, and you’ll be surprised how quickly people do the same.
- Look for common ground. As people start sharing information about themselves, look for things you have in common. Do you both like running? Are you both from California? Did you go to the same college? Finding similarities can help reduce resistance in areas you differ.
- Follow their lead. Pay attention to what other people are saying. Does someone have affinity for the word ‘perfect’? Work it into your conversation. Does a co-worker have an upbeat tone? Mimic that. This mirroring is called pacing, and it can help build a subconscious bond between people who don’t know each other that well.
—Adapted from Communication Solutions January 2016 newsletter, www.communicationbriefings.com.