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How to Instantly Build Rapport: A Guide

In this blog, we’re going to share how to connect and build rapport instead of tanking human interactions. Do you want to know what rapport is, an approach to building it, and some other cool tools? If so, get ready for some real connection—you’ve come to the right place. 

What Is Rapport?

Rapport is a positive and harmonious relationship characterized by trust, understanding, and respect. It’s where communication flows easily, and both parties feel comfortable and connected with each other. This is exactly what we want in any interaction.

Let’s be honest: a rough exterior or gruff persona is just a shell masking who someone really is. It’s fake and rooted in ego. True connection happens when individuals show their true selves and feel safe around each other. That’s when collaboration, trust, and intelligent conversation begins to flourish.

How I Learned the Collaborative Problem-Solving Method

I learned a great method from the book “Changeable” by J. Stuart Ablon. When I first encountered these concepts, I was skeptical and even frustrated. But I’ve since found that this collaborative problem-solving method works every time for building rapport. Here’s how it goes:

  1. Connect with Empathy: Empathy means listening to and believing in someone’s experience. It doesn’t mean you have to walk in their shoes, but you should genuinely care about their perspective. Brené Brown is a great resource on empathy. Stephen Covey also emphasized that listening is like oxygen—without it, nothing else can happen.
  2. Define the Problem: Especially in difficult situations, defining the problem helps. If someone is angry or upset, start by connecting with empathy, then define the problem. Say something like, “If I’m hearing you right, the problem seems to be A, B, C, and D.” This shows you’re listening and understanding, which can diffuse tension.
  3. Collaboratively Solve the Problem: Find a win-win solution. For example, if you’re discussing school with your child, instead of enforcing a hard rule, ask how you can meet their needs within the required parameters. If you encounter a “no,” don’t get discouraged. As Chris Voss says in “Never Split the Difference,” a no is just a step toward a genuine yes.

Benefits of Following the Collaborative Problem-Solving Method

By following these steps, the person you’re interacting with will feel heard and understood, and you can collaboratively find a solution that meets both your needs and the situation’s requirements. This method works well in various contexts, including with workers, foremen, team members, clients, and customers.

Other Ways to Instantly Build Rapport

Here are some additional techniques to build rapport in real-time situations:

  • Mirroring: Match their tone, expressions, and body language. People like those who are like them.
  • Genuine Compliments: Offer sincere praise and appreciation to build trust and rapport.
  • Finding Common Ground: Show that you understand their situation and relate to them.
  • Smile and Make Eye Contact: Trustworthy body language and connection are crucial.
  • Validate Their Concerns: Acknowledge their experience without necessarily agreeing with their perspective.

Final Note About Building Rapport

Rapport comes from true and real connection, which requires effort. Avoid getting triggered and escalating conflicts unless necessary. Don’t dismiss the other person’s concerns; even if they’re just thoughts, they’re real to them. Addressing these concerns helps them feel comfortable, calm down, and engage in productive dialogue.

This approach also works in positive situations. Connect with empathy, be present, and seek win-win solutions by being a go-giver. This pattern works wherever you try it.

Learn More with these Resources:

I highly recommend the following books to deepen your understanding and skills in building rapport:

  1. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
  2. A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle
  3. Changeable by J. Stuart Ablon

These resources offer valuable insights into managing your ego, creating real connections, and partnering effectively with others. I hope this blog helps you build better relationships in any context.

If you want to learn more we have:

-Takt Virtual Training: (Click here)
-Check out our Youtube channel for more info: (Click here) 
-Listen to the Elevate Construction podcast: (Click here) 
-Check out our training programs and certifications: (Click here)
-The Takt Book: (Click here)

Discover Jason’s Expertise:

Meet Jason Schroeder, the driving force behind Elevate Construction IST. As the company’s owner and principal consultant, he’s dedicated to taking construction to new heights. With a wealth of industry experience, he’s crafted the Field Engineer Boot Camp and Superintendent Boot Camp – intensive training programs engineered to cultivate top-tier leaders capable of steering their teams towards success. Jason’s vision? To expand his training initiatives across the nation, empowering construction firms to soar to unprecedented levels of excellence.

On we go!