How to Build Rapport
Everyone wants to know the answer to the golden social question: How do you build rapport?
Rapport is the language of social interactions.
Without it, you cap out at being liked.
With it, you can be lazy & still be loved.
Why is this?
It’s because humans love humans who they share certain traits with.
A few years ago, I had no clue.
I was an awkward engineer who struggled with communication skills.
Thought of conversations in a very logical fashion.
Therefore, I entered each interaction giving a whole lot of ‘what’ statements & expecting others to be swayed.
When I tried to influence with logic, they just dug their heels deeper into the ground.
Very frustrating point to be in considering I needed to get my message across to move up in my company.
Therefore, I decided to reverse engineer the entire rapport-building process.
After years & years of trial & error, I was able to finally understand how to build rapport!
In today’s article, I am going to give you a couple of insights on how to develop this skill.
Yup! Learning the art of building rapport is a SKILL.
So you can learn it by getting the fundamentals down & practicing.
Perfect, let us begin.
Why Rapport Building is Crucial
There are a lot of weirdos in the world.
Every day, you hear news about murders, kidnappings, burglaries & so much more.
Therefore, humans have built a subconscious filtration system.
They put up an invisible guard to avoid falling in the trap of wasting their time or having anything malicious happening to them.
Think about it for a second.
Analyze your personal life.
Who are some of the people you click the MOST with?
I’m sure it’s the people who make you feel understood.
Noticed what I said?
Most people think rapport is only about finding similarities.
But that is not true.
Rapport is about making someone’s ideas & emotions feel understood.
Often, that happens when 2 people have similarities, sure.
But is it always the case? Nah.
But you NEED to make the other person feel understood if you want to know how to build rapport.
Really is that simple.
Once you make them feel understood, you will penetrate into their world.
Their guard is down.
And now you can build a social bond & strengthen it.
The Golden Rule on How to Build Rapport
The golden rule to understand is that building rapport with individuals is different.
You can have a set framework, but be able to adjust depending on the person that you are speaking with.
By understanding that every human is different, you are going to be much more dynamic with your movements.
You are going to make everyone feel like the main character in their world.
This is a mega key because those who build rapport are able to adjust at the whim.
If you want to know how to build rapport, then you need to know how to analyze.
Analyze social cues, so you make the right moves.
Here are a few moves that you can pull out from your bag of tricks to spike rapport:
Questions = Collecting data.
This is huge because it helps you tame your ego.
We often like to talk about topics which interest us.
Therefore, we try to pound this topic into another person’s world to have them think it’s interesting as well.
But that is the wrong strategy!
We are not trying to pull them into our world, but rather, we are trying to enter theirs.
Use questions to extract information from them.
What exactly is it that makes this person tick?
You’ll always be very surprised.
I remember a few years ago I was talking to the CEO of my company.
After asking him a few strategic questions, I found out his passion was racing.
Dude was a polished 60-year-old man.
Never would have thought of him as a racer.
But strategic questions led me to that insight.
See if you can Find Similarities
During your questioning, see if you can gather some similarities.
You’ll be surprised by how similar humans are when you look deep inside.
And it may be something that you may have never expected!
I shared a similarity with my English professor from high school in regards to which sport we played as youngsters.
But once you find a similarity, there’s a subconscious hook point.
They FEEL like they can relate to you.
Go back & forth regarding this similarity.
Share stories on it, ask questions, follow up etc.
Really hammer it home.
You’re strengthening the rapport bridge.
What if there are no Similarities?
If there are no similarities, then don’t panic!
Remember earlier how I said rapport is about allowing the person to know they were heard?
Well, then do just that!
The CEO who I was referring to earlier loved racing.
It was a passion of his.
Therefore, I let him talk about it.
I asked strategic questions. Questions which were relevant to the conversation.
His eyes glowed as he saw my interest in the topic.
Afterwards? He left energized by the conversation.
He called me into his office the next week so we could schedule lunch.
Don’t panic if you can’t find any similarities, rather find their passion.
Talk about Darkness
One way you can learn how to build rapport is by talking about darkness.
Pains, trials & tribulations.
This is a more advanced move, so no need to do it yet if you feel uncomfortable.
But I recommend adding this to your toolbox.
What do I mean?
Well, when the CEO and I had lunch, we talked about how his mom passed away from cancer.
I listened with compassion.
And I steered the convo onto how he handled the situation.
He went onto talk about how the death of his mom lit a fire in him.
Every move he was going to do from here on out will be in memory of his mom.
As he transitioned from the death of his mom to his rise, he felt a level of honor.
Talking about the darkness allowed him to see how far he had come.
Seeing how far he had come gave him positive FEELINGS.
And those were positive feelings he associated with me.
We all have our trials & tribulations. When someone asks about it, it touches our human side.
Being vulnerable is a key to building rapport quicker.
So don’t only ask about someone’s tough times, but offer stories of your own.
I used to think body mirroring was bullshit.
But it isn’t.
It a subconscious hack which allows you to enter rapport quicker.
There is an art to it though.
Don’t be the person being obvious with mimicking the other person’s body language.
The name of the game is being SUBTLE.
Transition smoothly into the other person’s body language.
See which moves they like to do a lot, and do it every now and then.
See the tonality & pacing they use behind their voice.
And do it.
Are they crossing their arms?
Cool. Do it then!
No need to do every single movement.
Just body mirror every now and then.
Treat it like a seasoning in a dish. Overdoing it will give off creepy vibes.
How To Build Rapport like a Charismatic Beast!
These are moves you can apply whenever you are building rapport.
But understand that it will change based on the person you are speaking with.
Which is why it is crucial to know WHO you are speaking with so you can adjust accordingly.
Building rapport beforehand allows you to deepen a social bond much quicker.
A deepened social bond allows you to influence.
You’ll rarely (if ever) be able to influence someone who doesn’t even trust you.
But when they trust you? It becomes 10x easier to lead them.
Use rapport building for good.
There’s nothing worse than entering someone’s world, then souring the interaction due to a poor character.
Be a high integrity individual & leave everyone better after interacting with you than before!
Not only will you know how to build rapport, but you will know how to be a human of value!
Now go out there and kill it.
For a personalized blueprint on how to develop your rapport muscle & social skills, apply for a free 30 minutes consultation session.
Break thru social awkwardness, anxiety to learn how to influence & move with presence.