Rapport is the connection created between people who have things in common. It's that simple.
As humans, we have a basic need for love. We need to love and be loved. Because we also have a basic need for security, we seek that love in the safest place – the familiar. This search for familiarity is the prism through which we see the world. In other words, we like people like us.
Experts say communication is 93% non-verbal. This gives us a critical advantage for rapport building by allowing us to use our physiology to communicate openness long before a “hi” appears.
Every person says “hi” with their eyebrows when they see someone they like. It’s subconscious, happens in a flash & occasionally accompanied by a smile. When we see someone we like and know, that brow raise can turn to a full-on head nod. Because this greeting is more instinctual, seeing it naturally induces feelings of trust. The paleo-cortex says this person is friendly, and friendly is good.
Our body language also reveals how we feel, regardless of what we say. Understanding body language gives a remarkable insight into how a person really feels, but what’s more remarkable is that we can use body language to influence how a person feels.
We can create trust & likeability with an open posture, palms out, genuine Duchenne smiles, and so forth, but the sense of knowing comes from mirroring the prospect’s gestures. Brian Tracy talks about this in his award-winning sales course. Gesture mirroring is exactly what it sounds like – giving the prospect’s mannerisms back to them within one to three seconds after it is displayed. This technique is most effective with smaller expressions, such as head tilts or blinking. Gesture hijacking, however, is used when giving back larger expressions like hand movements & done some time after the prospect uses the gesture.
I used gesture mirroring while conducting one particular test – meeting a representative for the local chamber of commerce. When I got up to leave after our fifteen-minute conversation, she stood up as well & reached out for a hug.
Gesture mirroring and hijacking is so effective because our gestures are generally expressed unconsciously. They are literal physical expressions of our emotional attachment to the subject of discussion. Because they are expressed unconsciously, they are received unconsciously. Because they are received unconsciously, they create immediate rapport.
Reading & reciprocating expressions are phenomenally powerful ways of building rapport & because they are nonverbal, there is no critical factor to dissect the reciprocation. We simply feel this person is like us.
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Jon Newton is TheRapportCoach. He teaches how to use the neuroscience behind relationships to create extraordinary experiences between humans. From personal to business relationships, Jon helps humans navigate humanity.