Four Common Rapport Building Mistakes and How to Fix Them

by : Peter Murphy

1. Pretending You Are Interested When You Are Not

Do yourself a favor and be honest with yourself and the people you spend time with. If you are really not interested in the topic of conversation say so.

If possible change the subject or simply postpone that particular conversation until another time.

Obviously if there is a danger of offending the other person you will have to be less direct. In these situations it helps to find out right away what the other person wants or expects from you. Ask!

The conversation will right away become very relevant to you and maintaining interest is a lot easier.

2. Disliking The Other Person

If you do not like the person you are talking to it will come across at some level. Ask yourself -- what could I like about this person? This will help put you in a better frame of mind.

And look for things you have in common by asking yourself - how is this person like me?

We all have something in common and commonality builds rapport. Look for it and you will find it.

If you mechanically attempt to get rapport with people while secretly disliking them you will never get that deep rapport you are aiming for. In fact if your focus is on how much you dislike the person you will not even want rapport and instead you will be setting yourself up for conflict.

3. Wanting Rapport With Everyone You Meet

I made this mistake when I first learned advanced communication skills.

All of a sudden, for the first time, I was able to get rapport with anyone I met. So I did.

And I recommend you do the same to a point. With one exception. There are some people you do not want to be getting deep rapport with.

Take someone who is like a raging bull with a deep resentment and hate for themselves and other people. Do you really want to feel the same way? If you get deep rapport you will feel some of the same feelings.

While you may need to be effective around such people keep your focus on your real goal. Deal effectively with the individual and maintain your own emotional state regardless of how upset the other person is.

Pay attention to your emotional state when dealing with negative people, manipulative people and others who will drain your energy. With these people rely more on the weakest element of rapport - words. And manage your body language without following their lead.

4. Not Speaking Their Language

We all have one primary sense whether it be visual, auditory or feelings based that dominates our perception of the world.

You need to get good at spotting which modality other people use and match their world to get rapport quickly and easily.

If someone is in a visual mode their words will be dominated by words that express what they see. For example the car is red with a white soft top and a huge back seat.

Whereas the auditory person describes the car in a different way: it sounds like a lion roaring when you start the engine and the CD player fills the car with deep, rich sounds that dance around your ears.

Finally the person most attuned to their feelings notices the smooth soft sensation of the leather seats and the warm firm feeling when they hold the steering wheel.

If you use the wrong modality for the person you are talking to it makes it harder for him to understand you. You have to work harder to get rapport.

And when you speak to several people at once make sure you use visual, auditory and feeling words to make sure you appeal to everyone.

Make a point of paying attention to the dominant modality your friends and family use. And you may have a breakthrough when you finally discover why you are not getting deep rapport with some of them while more easily getting along with other people.