What does rapport really mean? The French originated the word ‘rapport’ and most often use it in the phrase ‘en rapport avec,’ which means, to be in connection with someone.
Young employees will often make the mistake of trying to build friendships with their clients for the sake of making a friend. To their surprise, these clients want quality services first and do not really have time for meaningless friendship with their employees.
So what is it that an employee is trying to develop with a customer or client? A connection.
Why We Connect
We all connect for different reasons. A string quartet might connect around a certain piece of music, while a group of scientists may connect over a quest to solve a problem or find a solution.
Connection is a necessary life skill. And it is your connection with customers and clients that will contribute to your success.
So, is there a strategic way to build a connection with another? The short answer, would be “Yes.”
There are endless ways to build rapport or connection with others and to list them would keep you reading for days because they are all dependent upon circumstance and environments.
However, if you develop the following attributes within your character you will find your character will produce in you what is necessary to connect with others at the appropriate time.
How To Connect
If you want to connect with others remember these following three rules:
Perceptive People Connect
‘Perceptive’ means to have or show sensitive insight. Perceptive people display ‘emotional intelligence.’ ‘Emotional Intelligence’ is the ability, capacity, or skill to perceive, assess, and manage the emotions of one’s self, of others, and of groups. And contrary to opinion, being perceptive is not magic. It is cultivated by paying genuine attention to others.
If you want to develop a perceptive nature within yourself start with these commitments:
- I am going to be an extraordinary listener by paying genuine attention to others.
- I am going to choose to ‘put myself in your shoes’ by seeing things the way you are seeing them.
Perceptive people connect because they get in touch with those they are listening to.
Objective People Connect
‘Objective’ means to be undistorted by personal bias or emotion. For Example: One might say, “Today is a beautiful day!” You, on the other hand, may be having a rotten day. Regardless of your personal state, the sun is shining, and the birds are happily singing. You respond in agreement, “Yes, it is a beautiful day.” You have just responded objectively.
An objective person endeavors to understand the ‘bigger picture.’ Objective people realize that they are not the only ones to feel a certain way. This creates an ‘us’ outlook rather than a ‘me’ outlook. Objective people are fair, slow to judgment and quick to seek understanding.
If you want to develop an objective nature within yourself start with these commitments:
- I am going to look to see the “big picture’ by understanding the circumstance, environment, or story.
- I am not the only one who feels this way. I am not alone, rather, we are together.
- I want to understand exactly what you mean so that I can really hear the message you are speaking.
Objective people connect because they see how we are alike before they see how we are different.
Good Communicators Connect
James Humes, who has been a speechwriter for five United States presidents says, “The art of communication is the language of leadership.”
Communication is a true art. And great communicators succeed. Becoming a great communicator demands that you stay in touch with how you feel and what you think. Communication is the art of blending the melody of your heart and soul with the harmony of your mind and then singing or speaking them in the proper key.
If you want to develop a strong communication trait within yourself start by making these commitments:
- I am going to think before I speak so I say what I mean.
- When I speak to others, it is my privilege to have their attention. Knowing this I will make good use of their time.
Good communicators connect because they ‘care’ about their listeners and understand the privilege of having their attention.
Building rapport or connection with others is dynamic. So, rather than memorizing situational tactics – for instance, if he or she does this or that than I will do this – it is better to develop within yourself character traits that naturally produce rapport with others.
Choose to develop a perceptive and objective character. And continually work to mature your communication skills. These three attributes will grant you the ability to connect in any situation.