Rap•port: a close and harmonious relationship in which the people or groups concerned understand each other’s feelings or ideas and communicate well.
Good rapport building is key to any relationship whether that be with a friend, coworker, supervisor, or even a stranger. We all know good rapport when we see it. It’s that smile that appears when someone you just met remembers your name. Or the feeling when someone congratulates you on the new job you had mentioned in passing. These individuals were building rapport with YOU and made an impression that cultivated a harmonious relationship between you two. Now you can do the same with just a few easy steps.
1. Remember the basics: It’s as easy as memorizing a name. Once you have been introduced to someone, it is impressive to them if you can recall their name afterwards. To help, repeat their name throughout the conversation or think of an association to help your brain store the name in its memory. Facts are the same way. It is OK to take mental notes or literal notes on someone’s favorite Starbucks order or birthday month. That way when the time comes, you can surprise them with a free coffee or a birthday card.
2. Be confident in your appearance: If you feel good, it helps the people you are forming relationships feel good. That doesn’t mean you have to dress like Beyonce every day. Be yourself and rock your own style! BUT it goes a long way when you put effort into your appearance every day.
3. Show you care: Be genuine in your relationships. Really listen and comprehend what someone is saying. You can do so by nodding your head yes or offering a story that connects with them. Prove to them you are engaged with what they are saying.
4. Share: Remember this harmonious relationship is a two-way street. If someone is opening up to you, feel free to meet them there and open up about your own personal story. This is a great way to find common ground and interests. The more vulnerable someone is with sharing, the faster the relationship can gain momentum into something meaningful!
5. Smile: Last but not least, just smile! You never know whose day you can brighten by throwing them a smile. You will come off inviting and ready to build a relationship with just a show of your teeth.
Now go out there and practice!