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The Art and Science of Building Rapport


Do you feel frustrated and ineffective when interacting with a significant other, family member, friend, client, boss or co-worker? Have you stopped trying to communicate or avoid interacting with them because you feel you’ve done everything you know how to do? If you have reached the point where you blame the other person, perhaps there are some things you haven’t considered that will help you transform the relationship.

Is it possible that the other person is experiencing the same frustrations? If so, consider asking them. Have there been isolated situations in the past when you both experienced less conflict and communications seemed better? Think about these situations as they hold clues to what you can replicate to turn your relationship around. Discussing this with the other person may be the turning point to discover what you need to do differently.

Rapport is both science and art. It’s the key to establishing the environment in which successful communications occur. The science part involves communicating on the other person’s strongest sensory and cognitive thinking pathways and interacting in their preferred environment.

Sensory Style Needs Preferred Environment
Visual See it. Visual media. Attractive. Uncluttered.
Kinesthetic Do it. Physical connection. Physical Comfort. Move about.
Auditory Hear it. Ask questions. Quiet. Interruption free.
Cognitive Style Needs Preferred Environment
Global Big picture. Possibilities. Context. Informal furniture. Dim light.
Sequential Logic. Order. Practical. Content Formal furniture. Bright light.

The artful component of rapport is respectfully matching “language”, vocal speed, body movements and eye contact in authentic and natural ways. In neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), this is called “mirroring.”

Sensory Style Language Vocal Speed
Visual Looks right. Show me a picture. Medium to fast
Kinesthetic Feels right. I need to get a handle on it. Slow, disjointed
Auditory Sounds right. Music to my ears. Steady tempo
Cognitive Style Language
Global What’s the big picture here? Imagine this. What do you think of this idea?
Sequential Give me the facts and figures. Be specific. Please be practical and realistic.

Mirroring” is an integrous way of matching the other person’s behaviors that reflects that you care and are connected. The results are positive and fulfilling when you are respectful and subtle with similar, but not exact, matching behaviors. Think of the other person as your dance partner and try to get in step with them without being obvious or manipulative. Make comfortable eye contact when your eyes meet. Staring may make a person feel uncomfortable and cause them to look away. No eye contact may send the message that you are not interested. Be natural and authentic as you practice these proven principles and methods in all your communications.

The science and art of rapport is based on practical neuroscience principles and tools. Anyone can succeed improving communication rapport with a little practice. This article provides the key principles and practices to build rapport, respect and trust between two or more people. Even the application of some of these neuroscience practices will make big differences in understanding one another. Prepare yourself to be surprised and delighted with the outcomes.

Author Message:
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Are you experiencing strained and difficult communications with a family member, co-worker or friend? Feeling misunderstood and unappreciated are tell-tale signs of a deteriorating relationship. Your difficulties may be due to big gaps in the ways you both communicate. Or, perhaps you just want to take your communication skills to a higher level. Your Brain PathWays report gives you what you need to know and do to get on other peoples “wavelength” and build your communication competencies. You can repair, rebuild and improve important relationships now with powerful practical neuroscience communication tools for exceptional rapport. Click to purchase your Brain PathWays online self-assessment and download your report today.

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3 comments on “The Art and Science of Building Rapport

  1. 2zpoint
    October 13, 2010

    One of my favorite subjects. I have experimented with many of these things and know this article to be very accurate. I have also experimented with pheromone and found that the more senses a person can get involved in the interaction the stronger the rapport.

  2. Pingback: Saving a Relationship at Risk | Brain PathWays Blog

  3. Pingback: The Dark Side of Personal and Business Communications | Brain PathWays Blog

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