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Rapport Techniques


BUILDING   RAPPORT

Rapport is pronounced as ‘ra-PHOR’ – t silent.   What is the meaning of rapport?  It is bond, trust, understanding, or inter-relationship.  Example:  Indian foreign minister was sent to China to establish a rapport with them.

Building rapport is one of the skills that professionals must master it.  It is a skill that takes patience – immense patience – to achieve it.  Doctors, Engineers, Salespersons, Lawyers and just about anyone, in any field, need to learn ‘rapport building skill’.  This skill is used to build a strong, everlasting relationship with another person(s).

This technique is used to relate with others so that the other person(s) is in tune with you.  At the end of the meeting, he feels comfortable, understands your view point and feels that he can get along with you well.  To do this, one needs to learn the ability to use appropriate words and frame proper phrases; work on the quality of his/her voice – tone and tempo, etc; use proper gestures or postures that are compatible.

When you are engaged in building rapport, only a few words or phrases are used – 7%.  You don’t speak much but whatever words or phrases you use are concise and to the point.  You only match the other party’s words.  You match it by repeating those words or phrases.  Example:  If the other party uses words and phrases like ‘I hear you’,    ‘I understand’, ‘I see’, and ‘ok’, you too use them.  The point here is this:  Most of the people with whom we interact basically like people who are inclined to speak or think or behave like them.  So, match their words to build rapport.

Another technique is to match the other party’s voice.  Watch and listen closely to the tone and tempo and match it.  In other words, if he/she speaks slowly or softly, you too do the same.  Speaking slowly and softly works wonders if the party is angry and starts screaming in a loud voice. During a situation like this, don’t lose your cool, continue to speak in a soft, even tone; this calms the other party down.  

The people of France use lots of gestures when they speak; using slow and steady gestures and assuming non-threatening postures puts the other party at ease.  Again, imitate their gestures in a subtle manner. I mean -- not exactly what they do.  Example:  While engaged in talking, if the other party scratches his/her hand, you scratch your nose or cheek instead.

Building rapport is a life skill that takes months or years to perfect it.  Anyone with a keen sense of concentration, loads of patience, and most of all, love for the other person, can truly master it.  

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