Building Rapport – 6 Simple Steps To Instantly Connect With Anyone

Rapport Building Techniques

Building Rapport


Rapport is about making a two-way connection between people.

It is the foundation for any relationship.

When it comes to building rapport, size doesn’t matter.

You can develop rapport on a one-to-one basis or with a group of thousands. Great leaders understand the value of rapport in persuading people to adopt their suggestions and in directing their behaviors.

Definition of Rapport

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines rapport as “relation characterized by harmony, conformity, accord, or affinity.”

Rapport is the ability to enter someone else’s world, to make him feel that you understand him, that you have a strong common bond.”
– Motivational speaker Tony Robbins

Why Build Rapport?

Building rapport is a skill that you can use anywhere.

For instance, you can use rapport to:

  • Create a positive connection with new or existing team members.

  • Build good relationships with clients or suppliers.

  • Break the ice with new colleagues or with your boss when you start a new job.

  • Get support for your ideas and proposals.

In short, establishing rapport with people can open doors, create opportunities, and lead to excellent relationships.

 6 Techniques To Building Rapport

1. Seek Connection.

Get to know the other person. Take a genuine interest in them. Find out who they are and where they come from. Uncover what they enjoy doing at work and at play. The more you know about someone – including background, attitudes and values – the more points you have for finding where you connect.

Veldon Smith, a musician and legendary salesman living in Centennial, Colo., who spent 30 years in the automobile parts business before retiring a few years ago, said:

“One thing I always did, I learned as much as possible about a client before I visited, what their problem was, what they were worried about. Then I would go in with a story about myself being in the same predicament.

“So when I walked in, I was in exactly the same frame of mind as the customer. I was immediately on the same wavelength. Everything else kind of flowed out of that.”

2. Reflect Back What You Observe. 

Notice how they breathe and match your pattern to theirs. Pick up on the key words and favorite phrases they use in conversation and subtly build these into your own. This technique involves mirroring a person’s posture and movements, with a one- to two-second delay.

  • If he crosses his legs, then wait two seconds and do the same, with opposite legs.
  • If she touches her face, wait a beat or two and do that.
  • If he drums his fingers or taps a toe, wait again and do something similar.

The idea is to be a mirror but a slow, imperfect one. Follow too closely, and most people catch it — and the game is over.

3. Pay Attention To The Way They Like To Handle Information.

Are they a detail person or do they talk about the big picture? When you speak, replicate their patterns in yours. Adopt a similar stance to theirs in your gestures, expressions and postures.

4. Give Them The Benefit Of The Doubt.

Believe that whatever they intend to convey is for the good, even if their words and actions may not always seem to support their belief. By treating them as if their heart was in the right place, you’re more likely to establish rapport than if you don’t.

5. Treat The Other Person’s Resources With Respect.

Time, energy, favorite people and money are important to people.

6. Stay In The Flow.

Rapport is a process not a state. You may fall in and out of rapport several times during the course of a conversation or meeting. Indeed, you may want to break rapport at certain times such as when you have a task to complete, need to speak with someone else, or just want to end the conversation. But like switching on and off a light, you can reconnect whenever you need or want to.


Have you ever used any of these techniques? Are there any others that have worked for you? Leave a comment below and let us know. 


*Sources via: NYT You Remind Me of Me,


  • But what if you get nervous???? How do you maintain the momentum?

    • I think getting nervous is perfectly natural and happens to all of us. I’m going to say that just like with anything you get better with practice. Little by little you can start to build more confidence which helps ease that nervous feeling.

  • I want to be a part of rapport member

  • Hey Joseph, I enjoyed the article, a short read with some quick pointers to get in rapport with people, especially point 1 on really get to know the person from their perspective. My next Blog is on building rapport and connection so this article definitely helped spark some ideas to write about. Thanks

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