Building rapport is an important part of business. Most people know that it is easy for me to make friends and build a rapport with people quickly and I take a lot of pride in that. I love meeting new people and am surprised when I hear how difficult it can be for other’s to meet new people. Sometimes, we just need a little push in the right direction to get us started and that’s why I chose to write this week’s blog about how to build a rapport with a stranger. There are four major factors that go into building a rapport. Can you think of any before we begin?
4 EASY STEPS TO BUILDING RAPPORT
- First, we should start by talking about how to find common ground with someone. If you can imagine meeting someone new at a networking event or even at a business meeting, you can also probably imagine several different ways to try and break the ice. Finding common ground with someone is the perfect first step in creating a rapport with someone because it makes it easy to connect with that person on a personal level. Imagine meeting someone who is also from your home town. If you ask me, that would be an instant connection!
- Next, we will talk about the importance of focusing on your appearance. I don’t want to spend too much time talking about this because I am sure that most of you understand why this an important part of meeting new people (specifically in a business setting). Putting your best foot forward will draw people closer to you and you automatically want someone in a business setting to view you as a professional. It is hard to be viewed the way you wish if you show up with sweatpants and flip flops on.
- Our third point would be that you need to try and be empathetic. We all know that everyone has their own trials and tribulations that they have to go through (possibly even alone) and we want to make sure we are making them as comfortable as possible. A great way to establish a connection with someone is to make sure you are being empathetic to their situation and listening to everything they have to say about why they do the things they do. Sometimes (and you’ve probably experienced this for yourself before) people just need and want to be listened to. You are far more likely to establish a good rapport with someone if you are willing to listen to them and even offer some friendly advice and/or help.
- Finally, let’s talk about mirroring. I have seen many people try this and, unfortunately, many people seem to get this step wrong. When someone says that you should “mirror” someone, they don’t mean do exactly what they other person does physically. Sure, sit similarly to the other person and if you are in a setting where the other person seems comfortable, don’t mess that up by seeming too stiff. Pay attention to how they are speaking, if they are asking questions, what subjects they want to talk about and use that to your advantage. If you subtly pick up on their body language and the way they talk (as well as what they are talking about), they will be more likely to feel like you are on the same page with them and want to work with you in the future.
IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE DIFFICULT
Building a rapport with someone doesn’t have to be difficult and there are certainly a number of ways you can go about doing this. From someone who is very comfortable making new friends and meeting new people, I can tell you all of my notes above are tried and true techniques that are certain to do good for you.
What other tactics do you use to build a rapport with someone?