Seven Essential Factors for Building a Rapport with People
The ability to quickly establish a rapport with people, whether you're a new manger seeking to build relationships with your peers and team or a salesperson wishing to bond with a potential customer, is an invaluable skill in business. In their excellent course 'Building Rapport Quickly', Maguire Training provides delegates with the in-depth skills and knowledge required to enable them to initiate and establish beneficial relationships with others.
As a primer, however, here Maguire Training reveals seven factors that are essential in order to build a rapport with someone you are meeting for the first time.
1. Make the right first impression
Besides dressing appropriately, a good first impression should convey friendliness, openness and confidence, so on approaching someone new to strike up a relationship smile, adopt body language that is neither threatening nor defensive and offer a firm handshake.
2. Look for connections
Most people have something in common and finding those shared ideas, opinions or interests is an important opening gambit in forming the bonds upon which stronger relationships grow. Common ground might include mutual friends or colleagues, sporting interests or hobbies, food or holiday destinations.
3. Mind your non-verbal language
Making eye contact is essential to building a rapport and trust, but inappropriate body language such as folding your arms or legs when talking to someone may give them the impression that you are not interested in what they have to say. Covertly mirroring another person's body language suggests that you are in harmony with them; this can be a useful tactic as long as it appears natural rather than an obvious attempt to ape the other person.
4. Listen and respond appropriately
Clearly on of the best ways to build a rapport with someone is to demonstrate that your are listening to what they say, and this can be achieved either by an appropriate nod or shake of the head or by making affirmative sounds in response to what is being said.
5. Show respect for the other person
You may not entirely agree with the other person's perspective or opinions but if a sound rapport is to be established you must respect their right to hold views that are different from your own and should not hasten to judge them.
6. Be genuine
Honesty is always the best policy when establishing a rapport with someone, so resist the urge to embellish your personality or achievements, or to create a facade behind which to conceal the 'real' you.
7. Show empathy
Demonstrating that you understand and empathise with another person is a powerful means of establishing a rapport with them. Imagine yourself in their situation and how they must feel as a result and this will help you to strengthen a fledgling rapport.
There is, of course, more to learn about establishing a rapport by interpreting the mood and personality of the other person from their body language, reacting appropriately and modifying your behaviour in accordance with the situation. These and many other skills and strategies are covered by Maguire Training both in traditional classroom-based courses and via their convenient E-learning platform which allows the study of 'Building Rapport Quickly' via any internet-connected computer or mobile device whenever and wherever a delegate prefers.