Psychologists have discovered three elements to rapport. They are:

  • Mutual attention, where each person is tuning in to the other
  • Shared positive feeling – mostly conveyed by non-verbal messages
  • Synchrony – people unconsciously respond to each others’ movements and gestures.

We can build rapport with a client by using mirroring and matching techniques.

One way to build rapport with a client is with body posture. This is something that you can see people doing unconsciously. It must be used with care because people don’t like to be mimicked. Matching the angle of the spine works well and is not obvious.

A second way to build rapport is movement rhythms (also known as crossover matching). This is a slightly more complicated form of matching. You can match someone’s gestures with a different part of your body. People do things that they are almost unaware of (such as scratching their chin, flicking their hair, crossing their legs), so, to build rapport with a client, I can match this subtly by some equally natural-looking movement like tapping a pencil or jiggling my foot.

Sensory acuity plays an important role because we need to recognize what the person is actually doing.


What are the key points to structuring an NLP session.

The key points to structuring an NLP session are:


Establish your credibility – congruence, state management, authority, command tonality.

2. Rapport

Establish rapport – responsiveness, understanding, friendliness, matching, positive body language/voice tone, using sensory acuity to decide on mirroring and matching techniques to use.