Building rapport with people

Great salespeople (and I use the word ‘sales’ in the broadest sense – parenting, fundraising, etc) build rapport with people. They ‘get on’ with others and a lot of that is to do with how they communicate. Reading the Manchester Evening News ‘Short List’ magazine the other day, I came across this concept in an article about hostage negotiators. With The Taking of Pelham 123 in movie theatres, this extraordinary profession is again under the microscope. The article features Peter Bedford, a former special intelligence officer at Athena Security & Intelligence Consultants. Asked about how he deals with kidnappers, Bedford explains, “I’ll mirror their speech patterns and use the words and phrases they use to build a connection between us.” This, he claims, is vital in building a degree of trust or at least rapport between the two parties.

This theme of ‘mirroring’ is highlighted by Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) experts. They relate this to both body language and the pace and style of the words you use. It encourages the person you’re with to warm to you and if you’re looking to influence them in some way, your task becomes a whole lot easier.

Look into this. Read up on NLP and how to build rapport through helpful body language and conversational style. When you see someone who’s really ‘natural’ with people, you’ll start to recognise these traits.

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