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How to build rapport for the win

posted by Suzi Sarkis 08/10/2017 0 comments

A few years ago I worked with a large Professional Services organisation that was going through a global merger. There were a number of issues at play, and in an effort to mitigate some of the negative conversations that were being had the CMO made a statement to his global team to ‘assume the best intentions when working with each other’. While this was a lovely sentiment, good intentions are rarely assumed. If we’re honest with ourselves, people are often on the lookout for manipulative tactics.

The ability to build strong rapport with your colleagues is vital to your career progression and your happiness at work. Stepping into someone’s world authentically and actively listening can make it easier for someone to express themselves – allowing you to forge deep connections quickly.

There are many ways to build rapport. Here are two that have been suggested by Christine Comaford from Forbes:

  1. Physical Body Mirroring. By mirroring a person’s posture full body position you step into what it feels like to be them. So for example if someone is leaning back and has his arms crossed, you do the same. Always pause before mirroring so that changing your position isn’t rushed or abrasive.
  2. Keyword And Gesture Backtracking. Mirroring the words a person uses to describe their experience, and the gestures they use too furthers “same as.” If someone says, “I’d like to go the extra mile!”, while slicing the air with their hand—you can respond by gesturing similarly, and backtracking their keywords, “Yes! Let’s go the extra mile.”

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