Anonymous says, “I am not good at gaining rapport. I need to be better with people.” I don’t have all of the answers, but I have some ideas our friend anonymous might work with for a while.
Smile: Want to know the quickest way to open people up and create rapport? Smile. It’s really that simple. A smile creates a positive response in the person you are meeting with. It says that you are a friend, that you are pleasant, that you are happy. All of these allow them to let their guard down.
Be Human: Well, you’re already human. But be really human. Share the things that make you human. You have feelings. You have a husband or a wife or a significant other or kids or a hobby or something. Sharing the experiences that make you human make it safe for the person you are engaging with to share theirs. Boom! Connected.
Be Vulnerable: Being vulnerable creates a connection. This is something more than just being human. Vulnerability means you are open enough that you can be hurt. That openness means that you trust someone with your vulnerability, and by giving your trust, you gain trust.
Listen: If you want to generate rapport, be a great listener. A good set of questions that allows the other person to talk is better than any statements you might make. A good conversation is give and take, but if you want rapport, leave others more room than you believe is necessary. They won’t talk? Try being vulnerable and then be really, really quiet.
Have a Sense of Humor: A sense of humor can really help create rapport. People want to be around people they enjoy spending time with. A sense of humor says that this can be fun—or at least pleasant. It can shrink seemingly big issues to a more manageable size. Humor can break the ice, and it can warm up a cold shoulder.
Rapport isn’t “I like you.” Rapport is “I am like you.”
What advice do you have for Anonymous?