Robin Dreeke, Head of Behavioral Analysis for the FBI, in his book It’s Not all About Me: The Top Ten Techniques for Building Quick Rapport with Anyone explains techniques you can use in building trust and starting a relationship with anyone.
It all boils down to excellent communication skills. The take home from the book is the fact that it is backed backed social and evolutionary psychology, something that the author has been able to hone from several years of experience on the field.
Here are some insights on how to gain trust as told by an FBI agent.
1. Make the other person feel at ease
Different non verbal approach like standing toe to toe with someone or an inappropriate handshake can intimidate someone or appear threatening. The first way to make the other person comfortable with confiding in you is to offer a simple smile. Make the other person feel at ease by also offering a firm and a confident handshake.
2. Ask for help
The act of making a request makes the other person realize you are also as fallible as he/she. We all naturally feel connected to those who ask us for help. In Robin Dreeke’s book it is quoted,
“Have you ever felt a pang of guilt for turning down someone seeking help? I have personally found that there is no greater theme and tool for eliciting individuals for action, information, and a great conversation than the use of sympathy or assistance.”
3. Allow them to talk
Taking over the show by speaking frequently doesn’t show strength, but rather shows you have low self esteem or do not know what you are talking about. Allow the other person to speak and air his/her opinions. Even when you do have to speak, speak slowly.
4. Offer a gift
In humans there exists the need for reciprocation. When you offer people something they naturally feel like returning your kindness. To build great relationships and secure trust always be willing to offer something.
5. Suspend your ego
According to Robin Dreeke, when trying to secure trust and build a relationship, it is always best to suspend your ego and put the other person’s needs ahead of your own.
“Suspending your ego is nothing more complex than putting other individuals’ wants, needs, and perceptions of reality ahead of your own.” – Robin Dreeke
6. Allow the other person to feel validated
By validating the other, you keep the conversation and relationship flowing. It means you are listening and attentive to what he/she is talking about. Thus we are mindful and we do not forget the details of what the other person has told us.
“True validation coupled with ego suspension means that you have no story to offer, that you are there simply to hear theirs.” – Robin Dreeke
7. Ask open ended questions
By asking the how, when and why you show you are interested in the other person’s thoughts and opinions. You also boost their ego and offer a platform for them to trust you in return.
“Open ended questions are ones that don’t require a simple yes or no answer. They are generally questions that require more words and thought. Once the individual being targeted in the conversation supplies more words and thought, a great conversationalist will utilize the content given and continue to ask open ended questions about the same content.”
8. Manage your expectations
Don’t expect the perfect response. Manage your expectations appropriately because otherwise your emotions will only give way to disappointment, resentment and anger.
“When we are able to shift or manage our expectations, we reduce potential disappointment. When we are disappointed, we sometimes get angry and may even hold grudges and get hurt feelings.”
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