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How to Gain Rapport With Anyone

Alvin Donovan

Rapport is the way to easily and naturally eliminate perceived differences between yourself and the other person.

Benefits of this article:

* establish rapport in 30 seconds or less with anyone.
* build trust into every communication.
* send subliminal messages of likeness.
* improve your range of responsiveness.
* achieve personal and professional flexibility.
* establish deep bonds of trust - quickly.
* covertly calibrate that you have rapport.
* know when you have made your point so you can avoid "over influencing".
* covertly calibrate when a person changes states.
* using your senses to develop understanding of others.
* establishing meaningful communication.
* improving your responsiveness range.
* build trust into your communication.
* verifying the current level of rapport.
* getting clients to focus on you.

Would it be helpful to have a way to get people to naturally like you? To have clients immediately bond with you? Would it be helpful to be able to speak with your clients in such a way that your message is irresistible?

How can I easily and naturally do this?

People like most those who are most like them. The conscious mind is that part of your being that can best be defined by saying what it does. It enables you to shift your attention from one thing to another. Therefore, what you are aware of is that part of you that would be called your conscious mind.

Your unconscious mind is that part of you that contains your long term memories.

It is also is in charge of automatic behavior - that is - reflex action. In a study of communication at the University of Pennsylvania in 1970 ("Kinesics and Communication," R. Birdwhistle, University of Pennsylvania, 1970) the researchers determined that in communication, only seven percent of what we communicate is the result of words that we say, or of the content of our communication.

Thirty eight percent is a result of our vocal behavior, which includes tone of voice, timbre, tempo and volume.

Fifty-five percent is a result of our nonverbal communication, i.e. our body posture, breathing, skin color and our movement.

So you can understand that "competent" persuaders spend most of their time concerned with what they say and very little about how they say it. By the way, do you consider yourself competent? Do you know what they call the guy who graduated last in his class at medical school? Doctor!

Someone who is competent is someone who has the minimum requirements. Someone who is adequate. If you are going in for brain surgery do you want the guy who is competent but the last in his class or do you want to find the best that you can?

Maybe you would even want to have someone who is world class excellent?

You will believe more in your product and that will be communicated through your demeanor, attitude and elegance with which you persuade others to realize that yours is the best choice for them.

Clients prefer to deal with the best service or product. Have you ever heard of anyone asking who the worst x in the business is? Of course not.

So anyway, you can understand that competent persuaders probably spend their time focused on what they are saying, the content of the message.

How do "world class excellence" persuaders elegantly persuade others? They spend most of their time concerned with how they say their message.

Personal training tip

This is very important information that we can already immediately use. People who are already in rapport were studied using videocameras. It was discovered that these people were mirroring each others posture, inflection, breathing rate and so on. Notice yourself, go into a cafe, restaurant or bar. Observe a pair of lovers, a group of businessmen whatever. Soon you will notice that they are mirroring each other's posture.

If one is sitting forward, so is the other. If one is sitting back so is the other one. This is an unconscious pattern that people in rapport use to understand and relate to each other. So what we are going to learn to do is to do the behaviors associated with rapport to cause the other person to have rapport with you:

Rapport on the physiological level - Mirror everything the other person is doing, the more deeply you mirror the more deeply you become in rapport. It should be like the other person is looking in the mirror.

Mirror completely:

Whole body- the person's stance or overall position.

Body parts- any consistent behavioral shrugs, gestures, head nods, or any other types of shifts in their behavior.

Breathing- depth and/or speed and/or displacement. (The most powerful form.)

Voice- tonality, tempo, volume, intensity and intonation patterns.

Because when you mirror the person's physiology, voice and speak at their rate of breathing your message becomes irresistible because it is like their own unconscious (their own inner voice) is speaking to them.

The rate at which you breathe causes your mind to cycle at a certain rate. So your breathing rate is the "speed" at which your mind is "running". When you are breathing at the same rate as the other person you will be on the same wavelength. Remember, the first step of rapport is to meet them where they are. So when you breathe at the same rate they are, your mind is running at the same rate as theirs.

You will discover that when you do this well, the other person will not want to end the phone conversation or meeting and will be hanging on your every word.

Also, people understand best what you are saying at the rate at which they speak.

If you talk fast you will more easily understand someone who speaks faster whereas if you talk slowly you will more readily understand someone speaking slower.

Someone who speaks fast will be a bit bored with the pace of a slow talker. A slow talker will find someone who speaks fast difficult to understand. The rate at which you speak is the rate at which you think and therefore the rate at which you best understand others.

The key to mirroring someone's breath is to look at them and/or to listen to them. If you are looking at them, try looking at them from a head on angle or a 45-degree angle. Notice the rise and fall of their shoulders against the wall behind them. Watch their nostrils open as they inhale and close as they exhale. Also, presumably when someone is talking they are exhaling and when they stop they are inhaling.

The most powerful form of mirroring:

Breathing- depth and/or speed and/or displacement.

Personal training tip- Why mirror?

Because when you mirror the person's physiology, voice and speak at their rate of breathing your message becomes irresistible because it is like their own unconscious is speaking to them.

Also, people understand best what you are saying at the rate at which they speak.

Personal training tip-

a) How it easily and naturally works in daily practice:

Pace (mirror) everything with a three beat time lag to start, rapidly narrow the time lag to zero, then lead to see if in accord. So, the other person leans forward, you wait 3 beats and lean forward. Next you mirror the person and follow 2 beats to mirror. Narrow the time lag to 1 beat and next you are doing what they are doing as they are doing it.

Think about the normal business meeting. The people greet each other and normally make 60 seconds to 3 minutes of small talk to make rapport. Then one of the persons makes an indication the small talk is over, both parties shift physical posture and one person will begin the business part of the meeting.

So, you pace everything the other person does when you first meet and continue to do so through the first few minutes. Then will come a time for you to change the subject, move your posture and begin your presentation. See if they follow you. If they follow you, then lead them to your outcome.

If not, simply go back and get them. Go back to pacing until you get them one way or another. In fact, the encounters you have can become elegant dances of pacing and leading throughout.

b) Pacing and leading:

Everyone seems to like the use of the words pacing and leading so we use them here. The definition of pacing is talking about or doing things that are verifiable and true in a person's ongoing sensory experience.

The definition of leading is: doing something other than the other person is doing.

Therefore, one of the many tests for rapport is: lead by doing something other than what the other person is doing and if they follow you then you have it.

If they don't, go back to pacing.

Remember- You are already always either pacing or leading. You might think this is something new and strange to do on a daily business. This is something that all humans already unconsciously do with each other. You will find that now that you are conscious of this behavior you can use it to your advantage to more rapidly achieve your outcomes.

c) Strength instrument calibration: Sensory acuity

In order for you to become completely successful, you need to continually calibrate your sensory acuity so that you immediately tune yourself to the non-verbal signals that indicate a particular state or a change in the person's state.

Begin immediately to truly always notice: Skin color change- lighter or darker, Skin muscle tone change- shiny or dull, Lower lip changes- expand (lines not visible) or contract (lines visible), Breathing changes- location, speed, shallow/deep.

The key is to take a mental picture or movie of these and continually compare that picture to what you see in front of you now from moment to moment.

Alvin Donovan, founder of the investment bank, is the co-author of Make More Money NOW and has also been a consultant/faculty member for several of the world's largest management institutes.

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