What Are Some Quick Ways To Instantly Build Rapport With Anyone?
As asked to me on Quora.
In the course of rambling on about ways to build rapport, I managed to word-vomit 8 tips. Happy times, that’s more than enough for another listicle.
1. Identify and Fulfill The Primary Need.
People are inherently selfish and there will be something they’re looking to gain from the interaction. Whether it’s information, encouragement, validation or simply acceptance; be the person to give it to them and they’ll respond favourably.
2. Flatter Their Ego While Suspending yours.
Converse with them about a topic close to their heart, armed with enough facts to prove you know your stuff. Steer the chat so you’re able to defer gracefully to their superior knowledge. Nobody wants to be ‘trumped’ conversationally, so avoid correcting or attempting to out-do them.
3. Gain Their Trust.
Having demonstrated your education/interest in topics dear to them, drop in some relevant facts and ask their opinion. Listen and be genuinely curious about their replies, while studying their body language. Are they a self-proclaimed expert? Flatter the ego and see how they respond. Nervy or shy? Boost their confidence. Defensive or angry? Empathise with them.
4. Mirror Their Body Language.
Countless studies I’m not well informed enough to quote have proven that a person will unconsciously copy another’s gestures and expressions when they feel close to them. Replicate that and keep it subtle to build the illusion of a bond between you if one doesn’t exist. They say fake it ’til you make it for a reason.
5. Practice The Art of Active Listening.
Too many people out there are just waiting for a gap in the conversation so they can speak. Be the person who listens and responds without hijacking the chat with a relatable story about yourself. Ask questions, empathise with their experience, show an interest and learn about the person in front of you. Bonus points to be collected later in the chat, when you’re able to refer back to something they told you at the start. Keep your ego suspended in pursuit of appealing to theirs.
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6. Take Them into Your Confidence.
Let them in on a secret, but make bloody sure it’s one you don’t mind getting out because chances are it will. Tell them about a genuine problem you have and allow them to either empathise right back or suggest how you might fix it. Listen to their suggestions with an open mind and thank them for their input.
7. Learn, Remember and Use Their Name.
Not in a creepy, desperate salesman kinda way, just by slipping it naturally into the conversation. Always refer to them by name when you end the chat – it makes a person feel important that you remembered.
8. Maintain Eye Contact and An Open Posture.
You don’t have to stare them down, but at least look them in the eye while you talk. Relax your posture and uncross your arms. Turn your palms outwards in a gesture of openness. Create an inviting space for the other person to confide in.