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7 Rapport Building Secrets That Make People Like You More

Have you ever wondered how to get past small talk when meeting someone new? Have you ever questioned how to build rapport with someone you have nothing in common with? Do you want to know the secret to getting to know people on a deeper level? If you answered yes to any of those questions, it’s time to learn the art of building rapport.

Rapport gives you power for connecting with people successfully, and learning how to build rapport doesn’t just help you at networking events; you can use rapport building skills in many ways!

You can use rapport building skills during interviews, performance reviews and when asking for promotions. Most companies are looking to hire people who get along well with others. If you’re able to build rapport easily, you will be considered a better candidate for promotion, because they know you will be liked by your team.

You can use rapport building skills to develop higher levels of influence. The more rapport you have with someone, the more influence you’ll have over them. As a manager, team member or a sales professional seeking to sell your ideas or products to people, influence is a must!

You can use rapport building skills to establish trust with others. People tend to trust people who are like themselves. That may not sound pretty, but that’s reality. In order to build trust, you need to first build rapport so that people feel safe to share their thoughts, feelings and ideas with you.

No matter what your goal is with people, building rapport will help open the doors for you.

Here are 7 Rapport Building Secrets That Make People Like You More

1. Find Common Ground. I once had a customer that wanted to go sky diving. Few of us are brave enough to take that risk in life, and I had been sky diving twice, so I was able to offer ideas on which company was the best in our area. Having that in common helped me to connect with that customer instantly and start building a relationship with them.

TIP: To find common ground, simply ask people questions. The more you learn about someone, the greater your chances are to find a commonality between the two of you.

2. Use humor to connect with others. Laughing together builds a harmonious connection, and it creates an experience for people to have together. (Don’t worry, if you’re not funny, look up a couple jokes before you go to work or an event, and have them ready to inject into conversation.)

TIP: Never aim your jokes at other people. That will repel them away, instead of attract them to you. Self deprecating humor, on the other hand, can be quite funny!

3. Empathize with people. Empathy is simply the ability to step into someone else’s shoes. I remember trying to make a grocery clerk smile one time. It was obvious she was having a hard day, so I started by saying, “I’ve had a long day as well.” After that, she was open to listening to me and yes… by the time I left she was smiling!

TIP: When you empathize with others, you go from you and me… to WE.

4. Use their name. Dale Carnegie once said, “The sweetest sound to a person is the sound of their own name”, but have you ever forgotten someone’s name only seconds after you met them? That isn’t because you have the memory of a carrot. It’s simply because you didn’t make a conscious effort to remember it. People feel special when you use their name. Have a goal to make everyone you meet feel like a VIP by using their name more often.

TIP: Next time you meet someone, say their name 3 times while speaking to them. That way you increase your chances of remembering it and make them feel special at the same time!

5. Match their words. Words have tremendous power. Simply by matching someone’s words you can build rapport with them subconsciously; but you will want to be mindful of which words you use. Sometimes words work in your favor and other times they can work against you. Let’s say someone uses the word “Fantastic”, so you use the word “Excellent”, thinking that you’re matching what they’ve said. Excellent may not have the same meaning to them. They may have a boss they despise who uses the word “Excellent” sarcastically, and it makes them cringe when they hear it.

TIP: If you want to build rapport with others by using words, make sure you’re using the exact words they use.

6. Match their pace. Have you ever been on a walk with a loved one and you look down and notice that you’re walking on the same foot at the same time? That’s because you have developed an intimate relationship with them and your pace naturally syncs together. Next time you’re walking in the hallway with a co-worker or manager, try matching their walking pace. People will start to feel more connected to you and they won’t even know why.

TIP: This also applies to when someone is speaking. Some of us are fast paced and others are slower paced. There’s a rapport that develops on a deeper level when you’re able to match someone’s speaking pace as well as their walking pace.

7. Mirror their body language. Another way to connect with people on a subconscious level is to match their movement. If someone has their hand on their hip, put your hand on your hip. If they’re animated with their hands while they’re speaking, be animated with yours.

TIP: The trick here is that it must feel natural when you’re mirroring them, or else they will be able to sense that you’re being inauthentic.

Successful relationships are born through successful connections, and after learning how to build rapport effectively, you will have permission to connect and influence others at a deeper level.


“When you empathize with others, you go from you and me… to WE.”@BetsyAManning