Jump for the Exit!
Isn't it bizarre how they are some people you meet who you can instantly have so much to talk about, everything flows so naturally and the whole experience is effortless… On the other hand, we have all met people to whom you have nothing to say, the conversation feels awkward and it's left you looking for the first opportunity to get out of there!
Personally, I have encountered these situations many times. There is nothing worse than being forced into a situation where you immediately are looking for the exit, but nothing better than finding someone where you just click and you are on the same wave length.
As I'm sure you're aware, the feeling is called Rapport. It's a basic but fundamental aspect of talking and listening. The majority of the time, rapport is created naturally and without thinking…
Think of the last time someone spoke to you… What happened in the first few moments of the conversation? How was the ice broken? What spoke first? Who said what? What was the body language like? These are important nuances that mainly go unnoticed because we deal with them subconsciously (most of the time!)
But what about those conversations where it's feeling like it's falling apart and doesn't feel so comfortable? You need to find common ground.
Good relationship building is almost always built on the foundations of mutual interests of some kind; experiences, social class, gender, interests, personality etc all feed off the common ground…
A few great simple ways to make things easier and avoid dreaded bad rapport:
It's a powerful emotion. Seeing things from their point of view, even if you don't agree with their opinion, can really help a conversation a long.
Gently indicating that you are listening and interested in what they are talking about may go a long way with making them feel relaxed and keep the conversation flowing.
Around 60% Eye Contact
As a general rule, direct eye contact should range from 30% to 60% of the time during a conversation – more when you are listening, less when you are speaking. This should make for a comfortable productive atmosphere.
Voice Tone and Pace
You need to watch out that if there is a mismatch with the person to whom you are talking to, you can become ‘out of sync’ and highlights the differences between you which can kill rapport.
Subtly imitating the other person's body language is a very powerful way of building rapport. Not so much a case of cat and mouse with what they are doing, but more putting them at ease and making it seem like you are both on the same page.
...And a few Simple DO NOTS!
1. Talking at them, especially when it's all about you
2. Using formal language that you would never normally use in conversation
3. Telling them what they must do, should do and how they should think!
4. Disagreeing from the start without giving them chance to explain.
Rapport is a very complex beast, obviously far more complicated that the 500 words in this post. We have a lot of courses (click here for courses) which have been created at dealing with building a better, more engaged and productive workforce for any company. If you are experiencing difficult rapport between teams or clients and see this as a barrier to success, then please don't hesitate to hit ‘reply’ and let us know about your situation and we can let you know how we can help you and your business.