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Pretty much every outcome that you can possibly want to achieve will involve or affect other people – unless you’re a hermit.  You’re not a hermit, right?

So if what you do involves other people, then one of the best ways to change your life for the better is to build rapport with the people around you.  Rapport is simply a connection, or being on the same wavelength.

When you have rapport, you will find that you communicate more easily; that people will understand you and you will understand them better; you will find it easier to build new relationships, or to repair broken relationships.

How do you build rapport? 
Did you know that you are already an expert in building rapport? It might surprise you, but you do it naturally in lots of different ways.  Here are some additional things you can pay attention to that will help you to build even more rapport, especially with the people around you who will help you change your life for the better, or those who will be affected by any changes that you make.

By listening, asking questions and looking for the win/win. 
When you really pay attention to other people, and find out what they are moving towards, you will be able to find solutions that help you and help them.  The most successful people usually build successful outcomes for those around them as well.

By matching them on different levels.
The first level is to match body language. If you make subtle changes to your posture to match theirs a little more closely, then you will build rapport.  You probably have experienced this for yourself – if you crouch down to talk to a child at their eye level you will have much better rapport with them than if you remain standing and towering above them.

When you are with a friend in a coffee shop, you might notice that you naturally tend to sit in the same posture as them – maybe both of you have your legs crossed, or both of you are leaning one elbow on the back of the chair.

By matching words and interests. 
Rapport comes quickly when you literally “speak the same language” as the other person.  For example, if they mention an interest in football, but you hate football then the quickest rapport-killer would be to say “I hate football”.  To build rapport and match them, you could ask something like “what team to you support?”.

Or if they are talk about something that matters to them, like “recognition”, then when you are talking to them about it, use exactly the same word. Don’t change it to or paraphrase it because your change will be your understanding of the word, not theirs.  You might equate “recognition” to “promotion” or “pay-rise”, but that will break rapport if what they really mean by “recognition” is “thanks” and “acknowledgement”.

And what about you?
How else can you build rapport with those around you?

If you are struggling to get along with someone, what happens when you invest in some rapport-building?

If you’d like to learn more about different ways of building rapport, then join us for an NLP Diploma or NLP Practitioner course. Learn more at www.brightlightnlp.com

About Madeleine Allen:  The author is a specialist in Leadership,  Communication and Personal Development for business professionals.  An NLP Trainer and Master Practitioner she conducts in-house corporate training (learn more at www.allentraining.co.uk) and public courses in NLP (learn more at www.brightlightnlp.com)