Building rapport is crucial in business. It is the process of creating rapport and building trusting relationships between two or more people.
In any profession, we all need to connect with clients, partners, co-workers, service providers; you name it. No matter your career path, establishing effective, trustworthy, and mutual connections is what will make your brand and business evolve, and you thrive in your career.
According to researchers Linda Tickle-Degnen and Robert Rosenthal, when you have a rapport with someone, you share:
- Mutual attentiveness: you are both focused on and interested in what the other person is saying or doing.
- Positivity: you are both friendly and happy, and you show care and concern for one another.
- Coordination: you feel “in sync” with one another so that you share a common understanding. Your energy levels, tone, and body language are also similar.
Why does rapport matter?
Rapport is crucial for both your personal and professional lives. In business, how you portray yourself, act and communicate with others is how you build connections. Outstanding leadership is characterized by a balance of business acumen, personal character, and the ability to influence others.
Although building personal connections at work might seem (and be sometimes) challenging, being open, present, and available will make it easier. Building rapport with clients, employers, and partners is how you can build your network to develop in your career.
A survey conducted by Gallup Employee Engagement found that approximately 30% of all American workers and 35% of all managers are engaged. This means that 70% of total employers are not. If you look around your office, that means less than 1 in every 3 people are truly happy and motivated on their job.
Another study also conducted by Gallup Employee Engagement shows the impact of managerial personality traits on morale found that when employees feel management is approachable, employee engagement is highest.
Remember: employers are more likely to employ someone who they believe will get on well with their current staff.
Rapport building for business and career connections
There is no right or wrong when it comes to rapport building. Human interactions are personal, and each individual may act in a certain way. However, some proven strategies may be helpful for you to apply while making professional connections:
- Remember the basics of a good and respectful communication
Be culturally appropriate, be conscious of your body language and other non-verbal signals, smile, make eye contact, relax, remember people’s names, hold your head up and maintain a good posture, listen carefully and attentively.
- Break the ice
Initiate a conversation and try to insert an element of humor. Laughing together creates harmony and helps to bond.
- Find the elements in common
Connect with common interests, find something you both share a passion for.
- Be empathetic
Empathy is about understanding other people by seeing things from their perspective and recognizing their emotions.
- Ask questions
Show interest in the other person’s story, what they have to say. To build rapport and make connections, you need to be present and ready to learn more about the other person. Asking questions is a great way to start.
The bottom line
In easy words, building rapport and make connections are essential to thrive and develop your brand, business, and your career. It is also crucial to maintain work happiness and engagement.
Written with the 2021 Olympics and Post Covid-19 in mind, Eric Bailey does share not only his personal stories but also his strategies and tools to help us all thrive in our lives, Going for Gold. Click on the link for your playbook to win the Gold…And Live Your Personal Best.