The power of our interactions will shape our future success.
The way we come across to others can be the difference between feeling connected to a supportive group of people or becoming isolated.
But we all can become someone with confidence and charisma.
Let’s go through some of the essential steps in building rapport with others.
- Make your First Impressions Count
First impressions are essential, ensure that your first impression has the right effect, approach with warmth and the intention to create a meaningful connection .
Don’t smile fast, flashing a smile looks disingenuous, try instead to let your smile grow this will come across as far more genuine.
Use different smiles for different people, using the same blanket smile again looks fake.
Looking into someone’s eyes can create an instant connection and make you seem trustworthy. Aim to establish eye contact for as long you can without making the other person feel like your staring (remember to blink and look away, where appropriate).
Try not to touch your face this has been shown in studies to make you seem less trustworthy. Try and use your hands to convey openness, use controlled gestures and don’t make any sudden, unpredictable movements!
5. Stay still
Try not to fidget, this will make you look nervous, and this energy will transfer to the other person.
Where possible, get introduced by a mutual friend and this way you have something in common from the start. If they trust the other person, they will assume you must be trustable too.
7. Common ground
Find common ground. This can be anything, from the event you are both at to family or a recent world event!
8.Clothing and accessories
Ware something unusual like a unique piece of jewellery, not only will this make you stand out and seem confident it will give the other person an opening line as they can ask you where you bought it if there is a story attached even better.
Don’t complain, this brings everyone down, be positive and match the other person energy whether might be laid back or upbeat!
10. Yes, and
Create opportunities for the conversation to build, for instance, in the art of improvisation; there is a game called ‘Yes, and..’ where the idea of the game expands on the last person sentence and create a story.
So the first person could say
‘Let’s go to the park.”
and the next person would say
”Yes and, we can take a picnic.”
First-person: ‘Yes, and I will bring some cakes.’
The second person: ‘Yes and I will make the sandwiches’
First-person: ‘Yes, and while you make the sandwiches, we can play some music.’
The idea is to give the next person an easy opportunity to say something to add to the story.
Everyone wants to be heard; when people get to speak about themselves, it makes them feel important, after all, it’s most peoples favourite subject.
12. Ask questions
One way is to ask questions; the trick is to use their pauses to ask more question or even repeat what they just said this lets the other person know you paid attention to what they said and gets them to go deeper into the topic they are talking about, this is a technique that a lot of coaches do.
Try copying the other person’s body gestures and some of their language.
As a society we see mirror happen everywhere, take for instance when a sport is doing well in the media like at the Olympics for example, next thing you find is that there is a massive surge in people taking up that sport.
Avoiding using um’s, yeps and uh-huh’s. These are great for filling the gaps and letting the other person know that you are listening, but they can make you look less confident, try instead to say full sentences.’ I hear why you did that’ or when you describe it that way it makes total sense’. This will make you look like a more engaged listener as well as more confident.
15. Create a friend
Use words that are inclusive of you both to start creating shared experiences using words like ‘we’ and ‘us’ rather than ‘you’ or ‘me’. For example ‘How will we cope when they move the office’ rather than ‘How will you cope when they move the office’. It’s subtle but makes a difference.
When funny things happen, make sure to bring them up at a later date, this will help cement a bond. This a technique that stands up comedy artists use, it helps the audience to remember a shared joke from the beginning of the show.
17. Give compliments
It might seem obvious, but the type of compliments is Important. The more subtle and hidden the compliment, the better, direct praise is excellent, but the more hidden compliments feel more special.
Its has been shown in studies that when leaders praise the positive stuff productivity levels go up, Unfortunately, a lot of bosses think they need to find the faults and tell people off, studies show that when leaders take this approach is disheartens the workers and their overall productivity levels go down.
19.Asking for advice
This makes the other person feel useful and like an expert, while also showing that you value their opinion
20. Use their language
Everyone has their own slightly different language based on their interests and experiences.
If they like self-development, for example, use words like ‘growth’ and ‘going deep’ if they like football, use terminology like ‘goal’ and ‘back of the net’.
Try to see the world through their eyes and permit them to be emotional.
Showing empathy when your friend or team member is upset or angry allows them to vent or complain, if you remain calm, this will help them become calmer sooner.
22. Get back to their story,
When someone is telling you a story, and they get interrupted (maybe their phone goes off or a waiter asks for the order) remember to ask them to finish their story, they will really feel listened to when you do this!
There are many ways to build rapport with people, and they are all simple when broken down, remember no one was born confident it is a learned behaviour, by avoiding stressful situations your body thinks it’s doing you a favour (removing you from danger), but with the tools and a willingness to take action anyone can become confident and charismatic.
Focus on one or two techniques every time you go out until they become second nature then add in others, and before you know it, you will not only be held in high regard by the people you meet, you will be confident in your people skills.
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