Building rapport is a key thing for us all. It is the thing that bonds us to others and makes us feel that we have met a like-minded person, someone on our wavelength, a friend who sees the world through our eyes. This is an important part of starting a new job and will be a huge asset to helping you settle in with your new team of colleagues. Sometimes you automatically gel with people. When you are very lucky you meet someone you feel you have known all of your life. More often, we have to work a little bit to find some common ground and a relationship builds over time, encouraged by shared experience.
So, when you meet someone, what can you do to enhance the rapport and encourage more connections with more people more of the time;
- One key thing is eye contact. When you look someone in the eye, or they look you in the eye, you get a sense of connection to something deeper and it gives you a sense of trust. You feel comfortable with trustworthy people, it therefore makes sense this is a good start
- Smiling is an indication of warmth and friendliness. If you only do two things with every new person you meet, smile and make eye contact. A genuine smile comes from the eyes and this will speak volumes to your new friend
- Listen; give your new friend the benefit of really listening to them. This is a huge gift. In this busy world where everyone is in a rush to go somewhere and do something there are so few people that really notice us and what we are saying
- Focus on something positive that you can really like about the person, even if it is just the colour of their suit it is a great start.
There are many other elements to making connections. Commonality is something people like; I see in you what I believe in me, therefore I know and understand you. When you meet someone at work you don’t have to look far for common ground. You are in the same company and the same industry. If you are a similar age, wear the same type of clothes, live in the same neighbourhood these will all help.
Matching and mirroring are terms used a lot in relation to building rapport. These basically mean moving identically to the person you are talking to; hand movements, eyes, head, the whole body, this is matching. Or doing the same but in reverse creates a mirror image and is mirroring. These create a subconscious bond with your new friend and when done consciously either need a lot of practice or appear disjointed and false. If however you have found a bond, you will automatically match and/or mirror the other person and this will just deepen what you have.
We all build rapport all of the time. It is a natural human behaviour. Some of us would describe ourselves as a people person and are typically good at this. Others might find it more of a challenge. All of us can improve on who and when we build rapport by making extra effort to do some or all of the above. When you are going through the interview process you will build rapport to get to offer status. This is part of the x-factor that differentiates you from the rest of the candidates. When you start your new role it is worth taking time and effort to build rapport, particularly with the people you are destined to spend the most time with. This will not only help you make new friends but will enhance your experience of your new job by at least 100%.
Money might make the world go round but your friends are priceless!
For help getting onboard in a new company or making the transition from where you are to where you want to be please contact one of our Consultant Coaches at email@example.com