Have you ever been at a meeting and thought ‘they just aren’t hearing me’? And you would really like them to hear what you have to say?
Maybe you have been speaking with someone and it has been really hard work and they have been resisting what you are saying? How good would it be to remove that resistance and move the conversation along to get the result you want?
Well the secret is to be able to get into rapport with an individual and to do it instantaneously.
What is rapport?
In hypnosis rapport is that magical state whereby the client will uncritically accept the suggestions made to them by the hypnotherapist.
In NLP it is more about the process by which to get into rapport with someone, so they can accept your communication uncritically. It is a process of responsiveness using what we call matching and mirroring. You can match and mirror another person’s words, tonality or physiology.
2 simple examples to explain what matching and mirroring are:
1) Matching – if you put your right hand in the air and I put my right hand in the air that would be matching you
2) Mirroring - if you put your right hand in the air and I put my left hand in the air that would be mirroring you, like looking at you in a mirror.
In either of these situations, unconsciously your mind would see us as being like each other and when people are like each other, they tend to like each other. This of course aids communication and results!
The major elements of rapport to match or mirror are:
Facial expression &
Voice Tone (pitch – high or low)
Tempo (speed – slow or fast)
Timbre (quality – clear or raspy)
Volume (loudness – loud or soft)
Common experiences & associations
As you can see there are lots of elements that you can match and mirror. Usually you just need to match one really well and that will do the job for you! Just make sure you do it subtly so it is outside of the other person’s consciousness.
Let’s have a look at few that you could go and practice right away and that will assist you in your rapport building significantly and your communication.
Look at the person’s posture and match it. In particular look at their spine position.
Are they leaning to the left, right, forward, backward, or even twisted? Whatever they are doing you match them. This is a very natural thing we do anyway – ever seen 2 people leaning at the bar in the same way?
Whether they are sitting or standing it is the same principle.
A top tip is to let someone you are meeting sit down first. Notice if they are sat on the edge, middle or to the back of the chair. However they sit you match it and their spine position. Unconsciously they will think you are like them and bam you’ve achieved rapport and very quickly and naturally!
This is one of my favourites for the first time you meet someone! Have you noticed how people have different handshakes?
There are 2 ends of the scale for handshakes:
Very light, barely touching your hand
Very firm, almost hand crushing
Ignore any preconceived ideas you may have about what a handshake may mean e.g. someone is weak if they give you a light handshake or they want to dominate you if they give you a very firm handshake!
Let the other person lead the handshake. Hold back / slow down your own handshake a little and as they start to take your hand you will notice in microseconds how they prefer to shake hands and you can adjust yours to match. So notice and match:
- How high up the hand they hold: tips of fingers, evenly across the hand or high up the hand, right into the thumb joint
- How tightly or lightly they hold the hand. Do they apply a bit more pressure with the thumb or fingers?
- How much shake do they do: One shake or lots of shakes of your hand and arm up and down?
- Do they cup your hand with their other hand or place their other hand on your arm – again you can match this and it can be very natural and out of their consciousness.
The secret is to slow your own handshake down to start with so you can adjust, e.g. it’s easier to add more pressure than take it off!
3) Facial expression.
An easy way to get into rapport with someone is to match their facial expression e.g. if they are smiling you simply smile back! If they are not smiling match what they are doing with their facial expression instead, e.g. have a straight mouth, and they will see you as being like them and then you will get into rapport very easily. If you smile at someone not smiling that could even stop you building rapport!
Rapport is just one of the powerful and effective techniques provided by NLP. We hope you found this selection of ways to get into rapport useful. If you wish to know more about this technique and how it can help you please contact us.