The basis for rapport is that when people are like each other, they like each other. The two primary ways in which people gain rapport is through Matching and Mirroring. Studies illustrate that the communication between people breaks down into three areas. Words count for 7% of communication, tonality 38% and physiology 55%.
Matching and Mirroring
Rapport is the connection between two or more people. By having rapport with someone, you achieve much however without rapport, things can be impossible. To be a master communicator, it is important that you understand the varying styles of communication and adapt your behaviour appropriately so that what you communicate is received in the way you desire. Remember, communication is the response you get.
Think of people with whom you get on very well. Notice the kinds of words and body actions they use. Also, be aware of their speed of communication and volume. Do they speak in pictures a lot or do they prefer getting to grips with how they feel? You will probably notice that those you connect best with, naturally use a similar style of communication as yourself.
6 Main Elements
People like people who are like themselves or who are like how they would like to be.
When we want to improve our communication with someone, the primary way to do this is by matching and mirroring them. This is the replication of what they are doing either exactly or as a reverse i.e. if you were facing them and they lifted their right hand, then you would lift your left hand to mirror them, and right hand to match them.
1. Match the modality
By realising someone’s modality (Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic, Auditory digital), it is possible to communicate in a way in which they see, hear, feel and understand you best.
2. Match and mirror their physiology
When we replicate the physical actions of another such as their hand movements, posture, facial expression, eye blinking rate or movements, it undeniably sends a message to their unconscious mind that we are like them.
3. Match their voice and language
By matching the way that they speak such as the tone, volume and tempo. If they use specific words you can often use these too. By using their predicates, rapport will be reinforced.
4. Match their breathing
By breathing at the same rate, from the same location (high, middle or low). As this is a very subtle method, it can have a very high impact. In addition, it allows you to create empathy of how they are feeling.
5. Match the size of the pieces of information they use
If you are speaking with someone who is always talking about specific details, then by matching this, that will build rapport. Similarly, if someone is always talking about the bigger picture, then do likewise to build rapport.
6. Match their common experience
By matching other people’s similar interests, rapport is built very quickly. Matching hobbies, backgrounds or beliefs is what we stereotypically determine as rapport. This is what usually builds relationships when they first begin.
To test whether you are in rapport with someone, you can become aware of their reactions to your communication. This is called calibration. By watching how they react to you in these minute ways, you can change your communication with them accordingly.
Pacing and Leading
Another way to determine if you have rapport with someone is by noticing how their communication changes as you change yours. If someone is speaking very quickly and you match the speed and then slow down, if they also slow their speaking, then you are pacing them. By this rationale, if you notice someone copying you, i.e. they lift their glass just after you do, then you are pacing them. This is a powerful sign of rapport.