How to Build Rapport With Other People
All About Building Rapport
Rapport is the deepest level of relationship, and different people move from initial connection to rapport in different ways. Since different people reach rapport by different routes, your success at building rapport with someone can be somewhat hit-or-miss.
Fortunately, there are some general patterns you can follow to make building rapport a little easier to accomplish. Using the principles in this lens, you can learn to build rapport more quickly and more predictably.
What Exactly Is Rapport?
Rapport is a deep level of relationship. Dictionary.com defines rapport as:
relation; connection, esp. harmonious or sympathetic relation
In a business setting, the state of rapport represents the stage of relationship where people will refer business to you and ask for your recommendation of others.
In a team setting, the state of rapport represents the stage of relationship where people can focus on the work without really worrying too much about relationship issues. Team members know each other well and seldom question the motives of other members of the team.
If you want to build a strong team or develop your business based on great word-of-mouth marketing, rapport is your goal.
"rapport." Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. 23 Aug. 2008. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/rapport.
Pictures courtesy www.sxc.hu
A Video To Help You Use the Info On This Page
The Rapport Ladder
How Different People Build Rapport
The rapport building process has four stages:
- Connection: At this stage of the process, people know each other. They work in the same office, they have traded business cards, etc. Somehow they know each other.
- Trust: At this stage of the process, people trust each other. Different people tend to have different ways of looking at trust:
- Task-oriented people tend to view trust transactionally.
- Do you do what you say you are going to do?
Because task-oriented people tend to view things transactionally (based on how you handle tasks), they generally move through the steps like this:
Because people-oriented people tend to view things relationally (based on how you handle interactions with people), they generally move through the steps like this:
Notice that the two different types of people move through the process in different ways. To build rapport with a person:
- Recognize how they probably see things, and
- Focus your efforts appropriately.
If they more task-oriented...
...How you handle your time and tasks will be the first thing they notice about you.
If they more people-oriented...
...How you speak and interact with others will be the first thing they notice about you.
How To Tell The Difference Between Task and People Orientation
People who talk about what they "think" or "how things are" are often task-oriented.
People who talk about what they "feel" or "how things seem to me" are often people-oriented.
3 Tips for Building Rapport With Task-oriented People
- Get to business quickly. They don't want to "waste time" talking about personal or unrelated matters.
- Deliver on-time every time. They will trust you more quickly and more completely if they know that they can count on you to get tasks done correctly and on time.
- Focus on results and logic. They don't really care how you feel about a subject. They want to know what results you can deliver and the logical, factual basis for whatever you say.
3 Mistakes You Don't Want to Make With Task-oriented People
- Arrive late for a meeting. They tend to view your punctuality with them as a measure of how much they can trust you. So, don't be late!
- Fail to deliver a proposal, return a phone call, or respond to an email in the agreed to time frame. They often view trust through a "transactional" filter. If you don't deliver on time, you can't be trusted. So, always deliver when you say you will!
- Ask too many personal questions. Early in your relationship with them, they probably don't want to share personal details. They'll let you know when they're ready to talk about their family. So, be friendly, but stick to business!
Remember that task-oriented types view almost everything through a lens that says:
1. “How does this affect time?” and
2. “Is this reasonable and logical?”
3 Tips for Building Rapport With People-oriented People
- Smile and relax. They want to know if you like them or not. They really care what you think of them personally.
- Ask about and listen to their stories and experiences. This act of personal concern shows them that you care about them.
- Answer their questions about your family and personal experiences. This sharing of personal experience helps them to connect with you better.
3 Mistakes You Don't Want to Make With People-oriented People
- Get straight to business. They tend to evaluate you based on your interest in them as people. So, smile and relax. Give your meeting a little time to "warm-up."
- Ignore them. People-oriented types generally want you to notice them for who they are more than for what they did. Pay attention to them as people.
- Speak rudely or harshly to someone else while you are in their presence (on the phone, to a waiter, etc.). They tend to evaluate you by how you treat people. Be careful!
Remember that people-oriented types view almost everything through a lens that says:
1. “How does this affect people?” and
2. “How does this impact relationships?”
Free DISC Personality Test
Take a Free DISC Profile for insights to help you build rapport better.
Check out these sites
- The DISC Model of Human Behavior
This is DISC Model of Human Behavior category archive at my blog.
- Principle Driven Consulting
This one is mine.
- Resolving Conflict in Teams Blog
My old blog.
- Personality Insights
My friends and colleagues.
- JJ Communications
My friend and colleague Jean Brun (Canada). One of my co-authors on Sell Naked on the Phone
- AltiMark Business Group
This Jim Carty's website. Jim was instrumental in helping to develop the concepts in this lens.