People tend to make a simple concept rather complicated and today people seem to come to confusion when discussing what rapport is.
“Is it the same body language?”
“Is it saying the same things?”
“Isn’t it just liking someone?”
It is all of those things, but it is even simpler than that. Rapport is sameness.
People like people who are the same as them. This can be represented in the way that they hold their body language, the way that they say the same things as others, or even when they appreciate another person and like them as if they were just like them self.
What is even more profound is that rapport is a natural process that people share when they are in connection with each other. Two people who have been dating for months will match each other’s body language on a date. A married couple will match breathing patterns in their sleep after many years of marriage.
Rapport takes place in many contexts, can be subliminal, and is one of the most powerful “things” you can do to influence, persuade, or connect with others.
With rapport anything is possible.
You can come to connect on a romantic date. You can create a better connection and “make” your boss or potential employer like you. You can sway a negotiation in your favor. You can make a stranger like you quickly and easily. You can create greater intimacy in sex.
So here are a few ways to recognize sameness with another person:
- Match their breathing- whether they breath really slow or really fast, you can do the same and they will unconsciously feel more connected with you
- Match the other person’s language predicates- if the person says a lot of auditory words, “That sounds good to me.” Then you can use the same type of words to reach a better connection, “I hear you.”
- Match their body language- you don’t have to do this exactly as it might be weird, but mimic some of the same motions they do and they will feel the connection
And if none of these are getting you connected with your partner in communication, then the most powerful bridge to connection that you can build is understanding.
An elderly woman doesn’t have to know anything about or even like comic books to share a connection with a young teen who is overly enthusiastic about comic books. Instead, she can come to understand his experience and she can come to relate that to her human experience in order to build rapport with this young man.
She can ask questions and get to understand the boy and the emotions behind his passion. Chances are that she has known passion in her life and therefore can relate with the experience.
When he feels like she understands him then that bridge of understanding leading to rapport has been built. She doesn’t have to have the same experience, and most of us never will, but we have the ability to connect with anyone at any time by relating to the human experience.
To connect with others build rapport with them. This is nothing more or less than sameness. We all have sameness in some way of how we experience the world, whether this is our body language or just emotional experience we have had previously. You have it within you to build a connection with anyone.
Somehow we are all the same. Go ahead and find more connections by recognizing and helping others to appreciate what is similar with you and them. You do this with your communication.