Building good rapport and how it can help your working life… Have you ever met a person for the first time and really wanted them to like you? Maybe you could think about how building Rapport could help.

Leaving a good impression on a new boss, a new coworker, or a person you’ve just met. No matter the circumstances, we all go through a similar experience at least once in our lifetime.  

After all, we want to be accepted and even liked by our peers. This is a natural desire. First impressions can be long-lasting, hence the importance of knowing how to act when you meet someone and any further interactions with them. 

This is where building rapport can help you immensely. It’s a beneficial skill that you can start using as soon as you meet a person. You leave a good first impression. 

But how do we continue with the good relationship we have built? With good rapport techniques throughout your interactions. They eventually learn to trust you.

Let’s have a look at why you’ll need it as a professional


What Is Building Rapport?

Good rapport involves two or more people being in sync with each other’s thoughts, ideas, and feelings. In this kind of relationship, communication goes smoothly, and more importantly, it feels natural. 

It is a relationship established on open communication and trust, but it can also be an ability that outlines somebody’s “reality” and makes them feel comfortable.  You build strong bonds with other individuals, forming a relationship where they understand each other. 

Building rapport is an important skill you’ll need in both your personal and professional lives enabling us to communicate effectively for all parties involved.

And because good rapport uses communication to establish deep bonds, it becomes the perfect way to let people know that you can fulfill their needs while making them aware of what you need from them. So basically, rapport is a two-way street.


How Can You Build Rapport?

When it comes to establishing rapport, the first technique you can use is mirroring and matching. After rapport is established, you can follow this phase with pacing, leading, and anchoring. Let’s take a look and see what entails each technique mentioned previously: 

1. Building Rapport by Mirroring and Matching

By far, the most popular way to establish rapport is by mirroring and matching another person. You pay close attention to the body language, speech patterns, and beliefs of other people and copy them without being noticed. 

Why do you need to pay close attention to all of these things? Because communication isn’t only verbal! In fact, only 7% of communication is transmitted through words, 38% is transmitted via how the words are said (tone of voice), and 55% through non-verbal communication.


So what is the difference Between Mirroring and Matching? To mirror somebody is to replicate the physical patterns of a person’s actions without being obvious and without offending the person you’re mirroring. Matching is virtually similar to the previous concept, but besides physical mannerisms, it typically requires words, expressions, views, values, etc.

Now, matching is a compelling technique because it can make the person you’re with feel comfortable and fully open to what you have to say. Although this naturally occurs in our day-to-day lives, this structure has been researched in NLP so that you can achieve it with more ease and continuity.

Types of mirroring and matching you can try experimenting with:

  • Whole-body matching, e.g., how you sit in a meeting
  • Gestures, e.g., how you wave hello before even speaking
  • Facial Expressions, e.g., copying a smile or shock
  • Breathing, matching in pace, then combined with pacing and leading can slow hyperpnea.
  • Vocal Characteristics, e.g., accent or dialect


2. Continuing Rapport by Pacing and Leading

As mentioned previously, after you have initiated and been in a relationship of rapport with another person for a while, you can start pacing and leading. Basically, you can’t lead a person without completing the pacing step first.

Pacing means that you will be adapting to the other person’s pace until they become ready for a change. 

A great example of this is calming down an angry person. First, you must match their body language, their tone, and their gestures. Concentrating on hearing their problem and not necessarily give them your opinion right off the bat. The acknowledgment of their emotions and their reasons for being upset is the pacing part. 

As you start pacing, you will soon notice that the anger will dissipate, and this is when you can start leading them. You will try to ‘lead’ the conversation towards something more constructive, like a solution. 

Once more, this technique is a fantastic ability in our day-to-day life, but it can be an incredible asset if you’re in a management or sales position.


3. Anchoring to cement the building of rapport

Anchoring is an NLP mechanism that enables one to regulate and repeat a behavioral outcome. At the peak of somebody’s emotional state, like happiness or sadness, you apply a gesture, touch, or reward. This is the anchored state. 

For example, a firm handshake while maintaining eye contact with a person when they are happy can later be used to bring back that feeling of happiness when you repeat the handshake the next time you see them.

A similar method was extensively studied by Ivan Pavlov, who is mostly known for his stimulus-response experiment, which proved his point about classical conditioning. 


Bottom Line 

It’s always a great idea to read more about building rapport before putting it into practice. I believe that practice makes perfect. Perhaps observing a professional doing it and giving it a go yourself under professional supervision helps.  

I am a Master NLP Practitioner and very accustomed to building rapport and all the methods used to establish and maintain it. Not only that, but as a life coach, I am able to teach you more about rapport to support you in leading a better working life.

So if you want to learn how to use rapport and improve every aspect of your life properly, then contact me, and I can help you out.