5 Important Details for Developing Rapport

Let us take a peek at the basics of developing rapport with others.

In a nutshell, it takes to ask questions, have a positive, open attitude, encourage an open exchange of communications (both verbal and unspoken), listen to spoken and unspoken communications, and share positive feedback.

Here are essential details on each step:

1.) Ask Questions- Building rapport is similar to interviewing someone for a job opening, or it can be like a reporter seeking information for an article. Relax and get to know the other person to find common ground or things of interest. You can begin by simply commenting on the other person's choice of attire, if in person, or about their computer, if online, and following up with related questions. For example, in person, you could compliment the other person on their color choice and or maybe a pin, ring, or another piece of jewelry and ask where it came from. In online communications, you could complement the other person's font, smiley faces, or whatever they use, mention that the communication style seems relaxed, and ask if they write a lot. Then basically follow-up, steering clear of topics that could entice or cause arguing while gradually leading the person to common ground you'd like to discuss.

2.) Attitude- Have a positive attitude and leave social labels at home (or in a drawer, if you're home). Many people can instantly tell if you have a negative attitude or feel superior. So treat other people as you would like to be treated. And give each person a chance.

3.) Open Exchange- Do encourage others to share with you. Some people are shy, scared, or inexperienced in communicating and welcome an opportunity to share. So both body language and verbal communication invite an exchange. Face the other person with your arms open, eyes looking into theirs gently (not glaring or staring), and encourage a conversation with a warm smile.

4.) Listen- Be an active listener. Don't focus your thoughts on what YOU will say next. Listen to what the other person is saying and take your clues from there while noting the body language. For example, if the other person folds his arms and sounds upset, you may need to change the subject or give him some space and distance. Maybe even try approaching him later and excusing yourself to make a phone call (or head to the buffet table or somewhere to escape). On the other hand, if the other person is leaning towards you, following your every word and communicating with you as if you were old friends, BINGO. You've built rapport!

5.) Give Compliments- So hand them out freely without overdoing it. Leaving a beautiful part of yourself like a compliment is a good memory for the other person to recall - numerous times. That's a good rapport. However, it's essential to be sincere! False compliments aren't easily disguised.

-By: Warrnette Lewis

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