Establishing Rapport

When you watch two people who are in a very involved conversation, it is as though they are breathing the same way, moving their hands or legs at the same time. This we refer to as rapport in NLP. To be able to establish Rapport at will is an essential skill.

Caution: Rapport is not some magic substance. Its has nothing to do with love or affection or anything. And does not last forever. You can hate a person and be in rapport or love a person and be in rapport. Establishing rapport means nothing unless you use it for leading the other person to a desired state.


How to establish rapport?


Calibrate in the other person, a posture, a movement, breathing pattern, tone, words, blinking pattern  - something that you can match.


Keep matching this pattern you have detected for a short time.

If you are matching something like breathing, even pacing for  a few seconds should be sufficient.


Do a minor movement like blinking or scratching your face. And notice if the other person responds with a similar movement. If the other person responds you can lead them into a state that is desired otherwise, or else go back to pacing and pace longer or choose from a different pattern to pace.


Self-Practice Exercises

  1. Sit in Coffee shop in a position noticeable by the other person.
  2. Pace the other person by Calibrating their breathing
  3. Lean forward or backward depending on the person’s current position
  4. Change your position to test if the other person is following

If you travel by public transport you can practice all through your travel.

Advanced Practitioners

These are some interesting variations that you can try.

  1. Cross over Mirroring: You can stretch your skill by building rapport with Cross Over Mirroring. Cross Over mirroring is when you match the movement or position of one part with another part. Like matching Breathing of the other person with your finger movement.
  2. Matching Tone, Tempo and Rhythm: Mirroring is powerful for building rapport. But if that is your only tool and the person is dominantly visual at that point in time, he will notice you and may feel offended, unless you are pacing breathing. So a good skill to have is to match Tone, Tempo and Rhythm. This is very powerful as most people don’t pay attention to auditory sub modalities unless they have some musical background or speak a language like Mandalene that forces calibration of auditory qualities.
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