Whenever anyone begins to talk about NLP or they go on any training courses one of the first things that they begin to talk about is building rapport. Usually they focus on Matching and Mirroring (two techniques covered in more detail later) and the real idea behind and reason for rapport seems to get lost in translation.
The What and Why of Rapport
Before we dive off the deep end and get in to the real nitty-gritty of Rapport let’s get a handle on what rapport is and why it is so important, also let’s get rid of some of the myths of what you can (and can’t) achieve.
There is an old adage “people like people like them”, in other words we like and prefer to relate to people who are similar to us rather than those who are different from us. You can see this concept at work in every social interaction, from children playing all the way through to office politics, “the more like me you are, the more I like you” is the unconscious statement we make to ourselves.
If people like us, then they are likely to be more open to suggestion and thus our use of NLP will be more effective.
Building rapport has got a bad rap over the last few years as it is seen as manipulative but there is a flip-side to rapport that has been lost. Rapport is a two-way street and being in rapport with someone is more than just being liked, it also gives an insight into the other persons thinking and feeling, it is this matching of someones state that is important to us with NLP; the ability to lead someone after building a connection is a side-effect of rapport and not the goal.