BUILDING RAPPORT: WHAT SHOULD WE DO?
We may often hear a timeless word in our lives, building rapport or building relationships. Why do we hear these words? We also hear that building rapport is essential for school, the workplace, and family. Are they really important? What is building rapport meaning?
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Rapport is a link with a person, work, responsibility, or mission. It is based on common shared experiences, perspectives, or events. Therefore, it occurs when at least two people simultaneously feel similar emotions and bond with each other.
Sometimes, it happens naturally. It may occur in a match, office, or a competition. It is the usual way of starting a friendship. Think about how your relationship with your best friend started. Do you remember when you became friends? Most people cannot remember it because it occurs involuntarily. However, rapport can be built consciously by finding interests and emotions. When we say building consciously, people may think maliciously. Yet, it is not bad. It is also another way of building a relationship. That is to speed up the natural building relationship process. With interests, their relationship starts from the higher levels.
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How Do We Start?
When we meet someone, we start to build rapport. We try to analyze each other and try to find common things. Most probably, the first analysis is on physical appearance. We evaluate quickly, and we decide whether to continue or not. It might be an evolutionary feature because we need to understand the danger at first look. Therefore, we should take care of our appearance on first dates.
What Should You Do When Building a Rapport?
Try to Be Relax: You may feel stressed. The first thing to handle is to try to relax and take a breath. By controlling the problem and decreasing tension, your communication will improve, and you will calm down.
Use Non-threatening Topics: There are many polarizing topics in our lives. This polarization separates people from each other. Especially on the first dates, you should not talk about these topics. You can talk about more general issues.
Focus On the Other Person: Listening is the most critical part of relationships. We can understand the aim, meaning, and situation by listening. When listening, you also should focus on the other person. You do not miss any detail.
Ask Open Questions: Conversation should be fluent in growing rapport. Asking open questions is one of the methods. What is the open question? Open questions are not polarized and require more than a yes or no answer. These questions are comfy to answer because people can give their detailed, clear opinion.
Find the Correct Time to Connect: Finding the correct time is another essential thing for connection. When you want to have a talk with someone, the person may not be free. S/he may live difficult times or try to solve problems in their life. In these times, your connection will not be strong. You can get an answer you do not want. Look at the situation and talk.
Use Feedback to Summarize: You can give feedback to reflect and clarify the conversation and ideas. You should care about not using judgmental language because people do not have to think from the same side. Opinions can be different. The essential thing is understanding each other.
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Empathize: Remember, rapport is based on shared experiences and emotions. Empathy is also an excellent way to connect with others’ experiences. This being on the same wavelength situation strengthens the relationship.
Non-verbal Rapport Building
We said building rapport could be natural. Our conversations and behaviors affect the natural developing process. There are many things we understand unconsciously. We can give messages to another person without words. We do it by our body language. It includes body positioning, voice tone, and facial expressions. We evaluate other person by analyzing these data. According to our evaluations, we can decide to avoid, fight, or stay. Especially on the first dates, you need to control your body language to build a good relationship.
Building Rapport at Work
We need to establish a relationship in business life as it is in every other part of our lives. There are many studies about relationships and productivity or rapport and job satisfaction. Employers believe positive people in the workplace positively affect staff and their success. Building rapport with these positive people is beneficial for the team. This positive atmosphere in the workplace has positive results for employees.
- Their job satisfaction rises.
- They can join meetings comfortably.
- They help each other in difficult times.
- Everyone respects each other.
COVID-19 and Building Relationship
The pandemic changed our school, workplace, and family approaches. Building good relationships with clients, friends, or family is more important than ever. We saw that we needed connection and a relationship. These days, many people connect with technological devices. There is a paradox between technology and relationship quality. The pandemic increased our accessibility to each other, but our relationship quality decreased. Therefore, building rapport in this technology era takes a lot of effort.
❝ Hey! I am Tarık. I am a psychology student at METU. I like to read about sports, science, history, and culture. My motto is “Knowledge is everything.” ❞
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