Why would you want to build rapport with someone quickly?
Whether you are communicating with a stranger, a friend, a team member or a customer knowing how to build rapport is a great life skills to have and can make a real difference in the quality of relationship that we have with others. Rapport building is the foundation of effective communication. Without it there is little chance of you being able persuade or influence others.
Matching and mirroring is a key technique in building rapport as you can start to identify many different signs that help you assume someone else’s style of behaviour. It is important to note that matching and mirroring is not about mimicking another person, it is the art of being in tune with that person through subtle observations made about their behaviour and how act in front of you.
Recognising a person’s body posture and gestures can help you determine how you gesture in return. For example does the person lean forward or sit back in a meeting? Do they use their hands to gesture when they are describing things to you.
Body posture and gestures are normally the first thing we encounter in someone else as they are clearly visible. As a discussion unfolds we can also build rapport by matching the energy levels shown during a conversation and / or the tone of voice used. Being loud and assertive with your voice and actions can be off putting if the other person is not displaying those behaviours. Sales people especially are sometimes wrongly advised to be confident and assertive in their approach with customers especially during negotiations. However, matching and mirroring will allow you to identify a far more effective tone and pace for your discussion.
Maguire specialise a range of different communication and rapport building interventions. The links below provide further information.