Career Development: Learning to Influence – The Importance of Rapport
In order to communicate well with others and to gain their cooperation, it is important to establish rapport. Rapport means being synchronised and in harmony with another person. This usually means making sure that you match their body language, voice tone and the language they use. You will find this may happen naturally with people whose values and beliefs you share! It happens too with people you like who are deeply engaged in similar activities to you at the same time and particularly if they are at the same level of skill. With others you have to do more work
Why is rapport important?
Rapport is important and it is a forerunner and provides a basis of the development of trust and understanding. This means it leads to connection and influence. It helps you see the other person’s point of view and them to understand yours. Successful interactions with others and the building of relationships that last, depend largely on our ability to establish and maintain some level of rapport. With rapport, resistance and antagonism will usually disappear and cooperation will be improved
How can you develop rapport with others?
First, it helps if you can begin to understand how they see the world, without being judgmental. Simply accept that for them this is how the world is. Then begin to match how they move and how they speak – you need to do this with care – don’t suddenly start to speak with a different accent. If you do it very obviously they are likely to think you are mocking them! All of this needs to be done in a way that is comfortable for you.
This kind of matching reduces both the difference and the distance between us and others at a subconscious level. For it to work you do not have to change your beliefs or values to accommodate someone else – only accept them as they are and that their views are sincerely held – respect them without judgment while being in rapport.
Wendy is the The Career Coach – helping you to find fresh perspectives on your Job Search and Career. She helps you work towards your goals and aspirations, in a way that fits in with both work and home life. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org, find her on Skype at wendymason14, or call +44 (0) 2081239146 (02081239146 for UK callers) or +1 262 317 9016 if you are in the US.