“Connecting with people is so difficult.”
Those were the words I heard escape the lips of my once close friend from school. It seemed odd since this fellow didn’t exactly seem like the type to have issues connecting with people. If I recall correctly, in school, he seemed to get along just fine with those around him.
However, I couldn’t resist doing a small analysis of his situation, asking him questions about his routine and dating life. After some sleuthing around, it struck me that he actually was having a problem connecting with people, or should I say, building rapport.
Aside from what he was telling me, I also noticed a few things about his demeanor and appearance that seemed to portray the wrong message. The signals he sent out were not the kind someone would respond to, let alone respond at all. He had no idea how these simple mistakes was affecting his ability to actually be approached and why approaching people wasn’t working out well for him.
Here are 5 simple techniques for building instant rapport with anyone you meet.
1. Don’t Cross Your Arms When Speaking To Someone.
This may not seem like a big deal but crossing of the arms in psychological and legal analysis represents a certain type of defense or closing up. Generally, someone who folds their arms appear to be shielding themselves physically and emotionally from the outside world and other people. When building rapport, it’s best to keep your arms to your side and to depict a sense of comfort and receptiveness.
2. Make Eye Contact
Eye contact is a sign of confidence and interest. When you make eye contact, you’re engaging more than one of your senses in the conversation which makes building rapport easier. It’s more of a skill, the more you practice, the better you get at maintaining eye contact with people you meet.
3. Use The Person’s Name
Okay so you don’t have to say their name every single minute but throw it in a few times during the conversation because this subconsciously registers that you are speaking directly to him/her. This is an important part of building rapport. Have you ever noticed how a salesman asks your name before actually hitting you with his proposal? Use this simple technique when having a conversation with someone to build an immediate connection.
4. The Smile and Handshake
It’s easy to forget to smile when you’re feeling nervous and shy. It’s quite okay to feel nervous but don’t let that hinder you from smiling. You want people to be attracted to the happy aura you possess – it’s a great way of connecting with people. Practice smiling, it need not be ear to ear, just a small friendly smile. Apart from a smile, physical contact is another well known means of building rapport – make sure to engage in a formal yet friendly handshake, keep it short and sweet.
5. Be Genuine and Honest
One of the best things you could ever do when trying to connect with someone is to be be genuine. Don’t put on a fake smile, don’t fake a good mood, don’t give a fake compliment, let the things you say and do be real and honest. Honesty is the key to building any good connection and relationship – achieve that by being as genuine as possible.Pay someone a real compliment, have good intentions and you’ll find that building rapport will be much easier.
The key to good rapport is to identify with someone, open yourself up to being approached and approachable, portray a friendly demeanor listen for potential follow up questions in conversation and you’ll be sure to connect with people easier. Try to draw on similarities, choose to approach people You identify as relate-able but most of all, allow it to be a fun and great experience.