Building rapport is something I remember from my days in outside sales. It’s standard business training, but I really didn’t think of it much outside of business. I guess because in typical, everyday situations we build rapport without even thinking about it.
We were lucky enough to have Abe Wagner at the Ranch to talk about not only building rapid rapport, but also how to talk to each other to avoid conflict and basically how to have good communication. Now, if you ever have the chance to see Abe do a seminar, consider yourself lucky. He is hilarious! He takes what could otherwise be a dull subject and brings life to it. What he teaches us is invaluable because it really helps in everyday life.
He talks about pacing, but not the kind of pacing most of us are used to. According to Abe, “pacing means to establish rapport with another person by imitating and getting into their map of the world.” Believe it it not, we naturally imitate people when we converse with them. It’s a natural thing that begins as early as when we are babies. There are exceptions to this rule. You don’t want to imitate anything negative or make it too obvious. Why imitate someone? Well, we feel more comfortable talking to people like ourselves.
Ways to Imitate:
- Body posture
Another side of this that I thought was priceless was “getting into the other person’s map of the world” which means seeing something from the other person’s point of view. Abe made it clear that most of the time we’re talking to someone, we’re only speaking from our own point of view, which doesn’t make for very good communication!
Here are some ways to become a better listener:
- Don’t repeat what someone has just said to you, paraphrase it. Why? You can hear what someone is saying without really listening, but when you repeat what they said in your own words, it shows them that you were really listening.
- Give a short response like “I see what you mean” or “I hear you.”
- Ask questions.
These little tips are valuable because who doesn’t have bouts of bad communication? We could all use some improvement. I know I can!