Q: What’s the best way to create real rapport with people?

Don’t be like this schmuck.

You can learn how to create real rapport with people when you stop trying to create rapport. For example, have you ever been in a conversation with someone who you could tell was making a conscious effort to build rapport with you? It’s got to be one of life’s more unpleasant experiences. I remember one example in particular because I was actually speaking with a famous NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) expert — someone who supposedly had mastered the art of making others feel comfortable, developing instant rapport, and creating an environment for powerful influence. And oh, did he make my skin crawl.

During this brief conversation, I couldn’t help but notice the guru practicing his craft. I’d cross my arms, he’d cross his hands. I’d tilt my head, he’d tilt his head. I’d speak in a rhythm, he’d follow along. Then, in an attempt to really show me how much he really cared, he even touched my shoulder and nodded his head empathetically. Wow. I finally found a person who really cares about me!

I couldn’t help but think to myself, “You know, this schmuck is what gives the study of influence and rapport a bad rap. If he’d quit applying ‘tactics’ and instead just calm down and approach each conversation with an attitude of curiosity, openness, and empathy, he’d do himself and all of his students a great favor. Heck, I might not even feel nauseous in his presence.”

If this is you, if you feel sick and tired of all the rapport-building “tactics” out there and seek a superior way to create harmony, rapport, and influence with those around you, then I have something for you to try…

Real Rapport is Not a Sales Technique

Most rapport building gurus focus on teaching you how to match cues from words, eye movements, and body language while using precise spoken language patterns. Their goal is to get their “influencees” to be receptive to whatever it is they are selling, to more easily overcome any objections, and quickly get them to say “yes.”

But I want to let you in on a little secret. You can throw all these tactics out the window if you can just allow yourself to be genuinely interested, curious, and empathetic with those around you. In other words, be open to their point of view. See and feel the world as they see it. That’s enough. Stop focusing on rapport tactics and getting what you want and instead, embody rapport as an attitude of empathy that you carry with you everywhere.

Basically, rapport is most effective when it comes from an attitude and an intention to see the world as others see it, rather than a sales or management technique used to get what you want. When you have real rapport with someone, you have a foundation to discuss the real issues and needs of both parties. You quickly get down to the heart of a matter and can collaborate to find win-win solutions.

I’ve created a very simple method for you to tune into how another person sees the world and experiences stress and frustration, and to naturally pick up on their strengths and weaknesses. It’s a very powerful approach to understanding others. When you master this framework, you can forget about techniques and instead, really tune into how the other person is experiencing the world so you can empathize, connect, and positively influence. You can learn more by taking the free 15-second style indicator and downloading my free report The Secret to Managing Everything.

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About Lex Sisney

Lex Sisney is an expert at creating breakthroughs in individuals and organizations. He's grown from co-founder and CEO of the world's largest affiliate marketing company to follow his passion as CEO Coach to the world's next generation of expansion-stage companies.