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Five Step Rapport

in May 2011 - All in the Mind

It is within many professionals’ jobs to gain rapport with people, groups of people or individuals. It is their job to get in there and match their level of excitement and confidence to gain rapport and raise it through the roof. Rapport is an essential skill for all communication.

When you use the five techniques listed in the guide below, while consciously focusing on what you’re saying and doing, you will gain a very good, deep rapport with the people you’re talking with.

Here is a simple five-step rapport gaining process:

Step 1: Smile

Always smile broadly when you meet a person. The first impression really counts, provided that you’ve chosen to wear some stylish clothes and you act in a confident manor.

The thing that really makes a difference is whether you’re smiling or not, and of course you’ll be smiling because you want to meet these people.

You want to do business with them. You want to entertain them. You want to do something which enhances the quality of your life and theirs, and this is why you’re there.So smile, it makes you feel good, it makes them feel good. When you smile you release serotonin endorphins (the feel good chemical) and when they smile back at you, they share the same experience.

Step 2: Ask them their name and remember it!

If you need to use a memory strategy there are loads of different ways of remembering people’s names. It’s important to listen to the way a person says their name, so you can say it back to them in the same manner because everybody uses different inflections. Maybe they will say their name quickly, maybe really slowly, you want to listen to the way they pronounce their name so that when you say it back to them, you’re using the same pronunciation they used.A person’s name is very important to them, so make direct eye contact when you say it. When using their, name treat it as though it’s important because it is. It’s their universal label for all time.

Step 3: Stop, Listen and Look

Stop the internal dialogue and thoughts that are going on in your mind: stop, listen and look.
Next, look at the way that people, dress, act and conduct themselves. Observe their body language and listen to how they use words. The kind of words and metaphors they use and the speed at which they talk. Pay attention to every part of their communication.

Step 4: Match

After stop, look and listen, which takes maybe 15 – 20 seconds, you start matching. In your communication you match the body language, the kind of words used, the speed, tempo, tonality and the gestures. ‘Mirrored’ or synchronized body language between two people encourage feelings of trust and rapport, because it generates unconscious feelings of affirmation.

Advocates and users of NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) use mirroring consciously, as a method of ‘getting in tune’ with another person. With a little practice they’re able to first match and gently alter the signals of other people, using mirroring techniques.

‘Mirroring’ in this conscious sense is not simply copying or mimicking. ‘Mirroring’ is effective when movements and gestures are reflected in a similar way so that the effect remains unconscious and subtle. Obvious copying would be regarded as strange or insulting.

Step 5: Lead

Leading is the only reason for gaining rapport. Whether you want to lead someone into a sale, an entertainment situation or maybe a hypnotic intervention to change a therapeutic issue – you will be leading people from that point forward. This is why we gain rapport so we can get our point of view across and get people to accept or understand it.

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