Building Rapport Techniques...

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Introduction to rapport

Discover what rapport is and what benefits you gain from establishing it...

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A free tutorial on how to build rapport and mantain it alive...

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This free tutorial on rapport provides you useful techniques to master building rapport. Establishing rapport is an art, so keep in mind these experts' tips.


Remember that rapport is the key to succeful relationships!


The Verbal Language of Rapport

Pacing verbal communication strongly influences the depth of rapport you establish with another person

Pacing volume is also a useful tactic. Someone who speaks softly will appreciate someone else who speaks softly. Likewise someone who speaks loudly will often have more respect for you and will recognise a kindred spirit if you match their volume. As a matter of fact , on occasion you might even want to exceed the others’ volume to get them to speak more softly.

By giving somebody a reflection of themselves and even exaggerating that reflection somewhat you can often cause them to modify their behaviour.

Some people find that they can control others by going out of control, they exploit the predictable behaviour of those around them. The plan to go out of control in such a way that other people will acquiesce and placate Children may learn to scream and throw temper tantrums in order to control other people. If you pace that behaviour by also throwing a tantrum (not at the child, but with the child) a miraculous and amusing calm can set in. The child’s astonishment can then give way to humour and the act is broken.

The message to remember is –If you want to change someone else’s behaviour, the best approach is to change your own. The resulting change in the system will often prompt the other person to change themselves in order to re-establish the balance and the illusion of control.


Dig Speech and Unburry Rapport Treasures

Words, phrases and images people use give us important information about the inner worlds they inhabit. By pacing this aspect of their speech, you are telling them that you understand them and they can trust you. When you’re talking with other people, it’s a good idea to incorporate as many of their words, phrases, and their images into your conversation as comfortably as you can. Don't mimic other people's accent or speak a jargon you don’t have mastery of. You should be sensitive of their level of vocabulary and imagery and try to reflect it as closely as you comfortably can. Avoid in your own speech any jargon that the other person doesn’t understand.

Putting someone in the position of either appearing stupid or feeling stupid will only make them resent you. –pendantry blocks rapport. An individual may reject your idea not because it’s weak but because they may not understand it the way you’ve presented it. Having requisite variety means being able to avoid those styles that inadvertently turn other people away.

Having the flexibility to use words, phrases and images familiar to other people is important. If we listen carefully to the language other people use, we will know what words, phrases, and images they feel at home with.

In the world of business, it helps to learn a few words of a foreign associates language. It would be seen as a goodwill gesture. Also, body language can help to bridge the gap. However, be careful of gestures as they could bear different meaning in other cultures.

Speak more like others and you’ll see that they’ll respond more positively towards you. They’ll appreciate you more, you’ll dramatically increase your effectiveness in getting their co-operation and support.


Pacing Beliefs And Opinions

Keep in mind that the goal of pacing is to be able to lead the other person in the direction you want him to go.

Here come a fine technique from the repertory of the art of persuasion: Validate something other people know to be true, and then lead them to consider and finally to accept other possibilities.

However well intentioned and correct our efforts to enlighten others might be, they are doomed to be jeopardised from start if we begin by informing the erratic that they are in error. The most likely result of such a course is defensiveness. To an extent our reality is made up of our beliefs, therefore, to tamper with people’s beliefs is to tamper with their reality. Tread lightly. Pace the belief and then lead with your suggestion.

You should not compromise your integrity or pretend to believe in something you do not. Find some way of validating another part of their belief or some experience of theirs.

As Thomas Jefferson once said, “In matters of principle, stand firm like a rock; in matters of opinion flow like a river.”

Find a point of agreement on which to build your case, then if necessary move into areas of disagreement or misunderstanding.

Remember ;It’s much easier and much more effective to move from agreement to agreement than from disagreement to agreement.


Pacing Breathing

Nothing is more vital to us than the voluntary and involuntary inhaling and exhaling of air. But we seldom think about it.

The synchronisation of breathing is one of the oldest rapport building techniques on record. In some variations of tantra yoga, where the objective is to achieve a spiritual merging, two individuals hold each other gently and breathe together until the apparent barriers separating them drop away and the experience is one of unity, the inspiration and expiration of a single organism, not two separate entities.


Next Step: Leading

When you have achieved rapport with someone, the next step you take they are apt/likely to follow.

When you’re with someone you are either pacing (doing something similar ) or leading (doing something different). There are no other possibilities.

If your primary objective is to simply get along with another person then pacing some of their behaviour is sufficient. But if your objective is to persuade, to bring them to a new awareness, then you must lead. Using this model, the strategy is to pace first then lead. Meet the person where they already are and then suggest some new options. This approach works more frequently and more effectively than any other. Sometimes it’s not appropriate to lead quickly, sometimes it’s wiser to back off and not to lead at all. Different situations will dictate different approaches

As a rule, the “pace then lead” strategy is a very effective way to persuade.


How To Test For Rapport

Before trying to lead someone it’s a good idea to find out if you’ve effectively established rapport. This can be done unobtrusively at the non verbal level by synchronising with some aspect of their body language, such as posture. Mirror the other person for a short time (a few minutes are sufficient). Then change your posture and wait to see if they respond. Their response could be a move to mirror your new posture, or it might be a shifting, a settling in on their part to restore balance to the system. What you are looking for here is a congruent, or complementary, response by the other person.


When Not To Pace

Whenever you’re doing something that isn’t working, stop and do something else. That’s why it’s useful to have enough variety in your responses for your purposes. It’s a good idea not to pace something the other person is not comfortable with, such as stuttering, limping, or asthmatic breathing. Don’t pace accents. Avoid tics and nervous mannerisms that might call attention to what you’re doing. In a matter of beliefs don’t agree with something that violates your cherished principles. There’s usually enough in another persons belief system to align yourself with for the purpose of establishing common ground.

Should you pace resistant behaviour?

Some experts say that you shouldn’t; whilst others say you should pace and then lead the behaviour to become more open.

Also, remember that gestures and postures do not have a universal meaning.


Outcomes of Pacing And Rapport

Pacing creates a harmonious climate for your ideas and suggestions because what you are doing is: accepting the other person. You’re saying (whether literally or figuratively) that you both speak the same language, you’re on the same wave length and you are sharing a common experience. Your acceptance leads to their acceptance of you. Pacing reduces resistance because -- no matter what they do -- you can synchronise, go with the flow and then redirect it. When pacing you’re telling the other person that you’re alike and this creates rapport and with it an atmosphere of trust and credibility.

When pacing someone you also do significant things to and for yourself. Pacing effectively will take the attention off yourself. You don’t have to worry about what to do with your hands or feet, how to sit, how fast to move, at what rate to speak, what level of vocabulary to use and so on. You take the cues from the other person and get in synch with him. When you act like another person, you begin to feel many of that person’s feelings. One advantage of this is that you begin to know intuitively what to suggest and when to make the suggestion.

Pacing is one of the secrets of the power of suggestion.


Summary of Rapport Tutorial

Rapport is a relation marked by harmony, conformity, accord, or affinity. In persuasion, it is important that you are able to establish a strong bond of rapport with the person you want to influence. Pacing may be thought of as holding a mirror up to people so what they see, hear, or feel is consistent with their experience of themselves and their reality. Pacing involves getting into alignment or agreement with the other person and communicating the message “I’m like you, you can trust me, I’m on your side. Pacing, when used effectively enables you to achieve a profound level of empathy with other human beings. Pacing not only has a powerful effect on others, it has a dramatic effect on you. A major objective of pacing is to so closely match the other person’s ongoing experience so that the distinction between what they’re doing and what you’re doing becomes blurred (at the unconscious level). This enables you to successfully lead them into new areas of experience. When you’re in rapport with another person, the next step you take they are likely to follow it.


Suggestions For Practicing Establishing Rapport

1) Many people find that speech rate is the easiest thing to pace initially. Listen to the rate of people’s speech and reproduce it in your conversations with them. After a short while, you’ll find that you can do this without even thinking about it. You find that you are already doing it with people. The aim is to do it without conscious effort, so that it becomes an automatic part of your behaviour, like riding a bike or driving a car.

2) Speaking rates vary considerably. Some people speak slowly, pausing to find the words or phrases. Others speak rapidly and seem to have no trouble at all finding words, the only difficulty they seem to have is in getting the words out quickly enough. If your style is to speak more slowly, you might have difficulty pacing a rapid speaker, but with practice it can be done. You’ll find that your thought processes alter as you change your speech rate. This is one of the most effective ways you’ll ever find to approach another person’s mind. After you’ve become adept at pacing, you’ll begin to notice that you’ve become much more adept at anticipating what the other person is about to say. What happens when this occurs is that you have so attuned yourself to the other person’s way of speaking, thinking, and behaving that you are able to engage in a form of mind reading. The two of you will become one, so to speak.

3)As with any new skill, pacing is something that comes easily after you practice it systematically. It’s a good idea to practice one thing at a time -- mood, body language, rate of speech, and so on. After you become proficient at pacing, you will be able do it without thinking about it. It will come naturally and easily.

4) Every day, practice pacing some aspect of another person’s ongoing experience. Take one thing at a time until it becomes natural and comfortable for you.

5) As you watch television, practice sitting in the same position as someone you’re watching. Notice how your feelings and experience off yourself change as you assume different postures. Talk shows are good for this exercise, because you often have an opportunity to pace several different individuals.

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