Rapport can be defined as a harmonious relationship. It's that feeling people get when they like and respect someone they’re speaking with and the feeling is mutual. Establishing rapport is important in all of the relationships in our lives whether it's family members, friends, coworkers, or a potential mate.
Try these techniques to create rapport and become instantly likable to just about anyone:
1. When it comes to small talk, choose your topics carefully. The last thing you want to do when you're trying to create report is to get into a silly argument.
· Talk about topics that are safe, like a restaurant you enjoyed or a recent trip you took.
· Avoid topics such as politics and religion. These are topics that others can have very strong feelings about, and can lead to very heated discussions.
2. Talk about their favorite subject…them. If you're having a difficult time coming up with a topic for conversation, simply ask them questions about them.
· For example, find out what they enjoy doing or if they’ve seen any good movies lately.
3. Show empathy and genuine interest. If you're asking someone questions, try not to zone out or have a disinterested look on your face as they are answering. That would be a rapport killer.
· Instead, lean forward a little bit, nod your head occasionally to let them know you’re listening and interested.
4. Everybody loves a sense of humor. You don't have to be "on" the whole time you're talking with someone. However, if you can make an occasional joke or share a funny anecdote, this will help create rapport. Making someone laugh will make you more likable.
· To be safe, make a joke about yourself or the situation you’re in. Avoid making critical comments of others in an attempt at humor. This could backfire and have the opposite effect.
5. Listen to the way others share information. When someone is talking, do they say "I see your point," "I hear what you're saying," or "I feel the same way?"
· By listening to the way people speak, you can tell if someone is visual, auditory, or kinesthetic. You can use similar language to establish rapport.
6. Avoid seeming too needy. Some individuals, when trying to make new friends, come on too strongly. If you try too hard and overdo it, you can actually push others away rather than establishing rapport.
7. Give genuine compliments. When it's obvious that you're trying to butter someone up or you’re going overboard showering them with praise, it can work against you.
· Although compliments are flattering, most of us only like to be praised if it’s genuine.
8. Mirror the person you’re talking to. Mimic the person you’re trying to establish rapport with. However, you want to do it in a way that isn’t too obvious. Don't simply copy everything they do.
· For example, if someone crosses their legs, wait for a couple of seconds and then cross your legs in the opposite direction. If they rub their ear or scratch their nose, wait for a second or two and then do something similar.
· There was a study conducted by psychologists at Duke University showing how effective this technique can be. They had 37 students try a new sports drink. After trying the drink the students would be asked a series of questions about it. During the questioning, the researchers mirrored half of the participants.
· The researchers found that the participants who were mirrored said that they were much more likely to consume and purchase the new energy drink they were being interviewed about.
· Be subtle when practicing this technique and you’ll be surprised at how effective it can be. After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
Whether you’re trying to make a new friend, get a date, or secure a new job, establishing rapport quickly can be very beneficial.