Have you ever met someone in the business world and felt an instant connection? It’s like you’ve known them for years, even though you’ve just exchanged business cards. These connections can open doors, close deals, and create long-lasting professional relationships. But how do you create this rapport, especially when meeting someone for the first time? Fear not! I will share four proven techniques, backed by top psychologists, to help you build instant rapport with anyone in the business world. And I promise, there will be no awkward handshakes involved.
1. We’re not talking about a fairy tale here, but mirroring is just as magical when it comes to establishing rapport. This technique involves subtly imitating the other person’s body language, tone of voice, and speaking patterns. Before you go all “Stalker Mode” on us, remember that subtlety is key. So, if your conversation partner leans in, lean in too. If they speak with enthusiasm, let your inner cheerleader out (just don’t bring pom-poms to a board meeting).
Example: During a business lunch, you notice that your dining companion has a habit of using their fork as a conductor’s baton when making a point. You can join the symphony by subtly mimicking this gesture while sharing your thoughts. This may seem like small potatoes, but trust us, it works wonders in establishing a sense of familiarity and connection.
2. Active listening is like being a detective, but instead of solving crimes, you’re solving the mysteries of human connection. This technique involves giving the speaker your full attention, making eye contact, and demonstrating that you’re engaged in the conversation. Nod in agreement, ask relevant questions, and, most importantly, put your phone away (yes, even if your Twitter feed is on fire).
Example: At a networking event, you’re chatting with someone who’s just launched a successful startup. To show that you’re actively listening, you could paraphrase their story and say, “So, you managed to create a thriving business in just six months while juggling a family and a demanding day job? That’s incredible!” Trust us, flattery will get you everywhere.
3. When you find common ground with someone, it’s like discovering that you both have the same favorite ice cream flavor (hello, mint chocolate chip!). To unearth these precious shared interests, ask open-ended questions and listen attentively to the answers. Once you’ve struck gold, engage in conversation about your mutual interest and watch your rapport skyrocket.
Example: At a conference, you meet a potential business partner and discover that you both have a passion for sustainable living. You can build rapport by discussing the latest eco-friendly business practices, sharing your favorite green products, or even swapping tips on reducing waste in the office. Boom! You’ve just planted the seed for a blossoming professional relationship.
4. Let’s face it, nobody’s perfect, and embracing our imperfections can be the key to building rapport. Empathy and vulnerability go hand in hand: empathy involves understanding and sharing the feelings of others, while vulnerability is the willingness to reveal your own thoughts and emotions. So, put on your superhero cape (metaphorically, of course) and conquer the business world with the power of connection.
Example: You’re leading a team facing a tight deadline, and one of your team members expresses concerns about the workload. You can show empathy by acknowledging their feelings and reassuring them that their efforts are appreciated. You can also demonstrate vulnerability by sharing a personal story of a time when you faced similar challenges and how you overcame them. Not only will this help build rapport, but it will also create a supportive team environment where everyone feels heard and valued.
Building rapport is an essential skill in the business world, where relationships can make or break your success. By mastering these four techniques – mirroring, active listening, finding common ground, and showing empathy and vulnerability – you’ll be well on your way to creating lasting connections with colleagues, clients, and partners.
And remember, practice makes perfect. These rapport-building techniques may not always come naturally, but with time and persistence, you’ll become a veritable people-magnet in the business world. So go forth, network like a pro, and remember to have fun along the way. After all, as the great Mary Poppins once said, “In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun, and – SNAP – the job’s a game!”
Now, go out there and make some friends, you charming business aficionado, you. And don’t forget to share your success stories with me – I would love to hear how these tips have helped you build instant rapport and create lasting connections in your world of business.
Almost every “Professional Speaker” on the planet claims they’re number one in whatever topics they speak on. It’s not how many books you’ve written that matters, but rather what best practices you can transfer to the audience, based on a proven track record.
This is where Brian Parsley isn’t your ordinary presenter. He began his career selling door to door over 30 years ago. Since then he’s been a serial entrepreneur, building three highly successful organizations and selling two over the past two decades.
Brian is currently a managing partner in the global consulting firm, The Constance Group. His work has given him the opportunity to share his methodology and allowed him to use his gifts of teaching and speaking on an international platform on topics of sales optimization, building loyal customers, and leadership strategies that drive profits.
He teaches behavioral science around why people do what they do and how to manipulate challenging scenarios with good intent. His messages are powerful but filled with humor and stories so they resonate and can be recalled.
Fun fact, Brian has close to one million followers on TikTok doing fun pranks. He may be in his 50’s, but he’ll never lose his sense of humor.