How good are you at building rapport ?

Rapport skills enable you to put others at ease and create trust.

Mastery of rapport skills allow you to get on with anyone, anywhere, greatly increases your confidence and effectiveness and makes it easier for others to communicate with you.

Mastering the skill of building rapport requires sensory acuity and behavioral flexibility on your behalf.

These are the only two limits to your ability to produce results in this area:

  • The degree to which you can perceive other’s postures, gestures and speech patterns and
  • The elegance with which you can match them in the dance of rapport.


The building blocks of matching are:

Body language

  • Posture
  • Weight distribution
  • Gestures – arms & hands, legs and feet.
  • Facial expressions
  • Eye Contact
  • Breathing rate

Voice Quality

  • Volume
  • Tone
  • Pitch
  • Temp
  • Sounds


Changes the other person’s behavior by getting them to follow your lead (e.g. leading them from slumping, into a more upright posture, or leading them from speaking quietly to speaking more loudly). This is the one test that you do have rapport.

Having rapport and being able to lead others, makes it easier to achieve mutually desired outcomes, such as reaching agreement. It also allows you to take responsibility for the outcome of all interactions. It is however, a choice.

There may be some people with whom you would choose not to be in rapport with. We call this mismatching.



Allows you to break rapport, to interrupt or to avoid communication. To mismatch, simply alter your body and/or voice to make them different from the other person’s. This will subtly and unconsciously interrupt the flow of communication giving you the chance to re-direct the interaction. (NB- if rapport is well established, you may find the other person follows your behavior as you mismatch- so in effect – you are leading them!- if this happens you’ll have to keep changing your behavior until they cease to follow you!)


General Points about Rapport

  • The dance of rapport is what we do naturally
  • It allows you to join the other person in their model of the world
  • Rapport needs flexibility of thought and behavior
  • Notice what happens when people get on well- they tend to match
  • Notice the opposite, when people are in disagreement they mismatch
  • Notice when you are not getting on well with someone and try matching
  • Make it easy for others to communicate with you by practicing rapport
  • Liking the other person is not a prerequisite for rapport


If you look up the word ‘ rapport ‘ in the dictionary, it means the presence of harmony, trust and cooperation in a relationship. It is an important skill to master not only in business but all relationships in your life!