“Rapport is the ability to enter someone else’s world to make them feel better that you understand them, and that you have a strong common bond.” – Tim Robins
I find myself drawn to men and women like myself. People I can identify with. Like-minded people. Positive, confident, outspoken (to a point). People who reflect me and I them. Finding people like yourself is not easy, but when you meet them you are instantly drawn to them; there is a connection of sorts, you feel relaxed around them and don’t need to add on any false pretenses just to fit in. You like and accept them for who they are and, in turn, they like and accept you for who you are.
I would like to share with you why it is important to build rapport and the benefits involved.
So why is it so important to build rapport? I can name three reasons for now:
Create a positive connection
You may not see or know it at the time, but having a positive connection will definitely be in your stead in the future, some time. Even if you leave your company, make sure it is on a positive note – you never know when you may need to get in touch with that connection again and ask a favor. Or they may need a favor from you. People talk and remember different aspects of you as a person and, of course, the same applies to them in your eyes. Good connections prove to be good support and back-up when you need it. You may not know it but people watch your movements, listen to how you talk to people and how you interact in general.
Build good relationships
The ultimate goal in building relationships and connections is to connect with others and to get them thinking, feeling, reacting and involved. Rapport-building is an art and a skill used in daily communication in all relationships.
Gain support for your ideas and proposals
Establishing rapport with people can open doors, create opportunities and lead to excellent relationships. Let people get to know you, what you are about, what you do, and what your strengths and capabilities are – you never know what the future may hold for you or for them if the tables are turned. So share your ideas and proposals and get their buy-in. It is amazing how powerful the spoken word is.
Robin Dreeke wrote a book called It’s Not all about “Me” – The Top Ten Techniques for Building Quick Rapport with Anyone. I would like to highlight some of the points he mentions:
Robin Dreeke reminds us that when dealing with people, we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion, creatures bristling with prejudices and motivated by pride and vanity. That includes both you and me.
If you have the power to influence anyone at any time, that is a good trait to have. The only way on earth to influence people is to talk about what they want and show them how to get it – and it is incredibly rewarding to give someone a smile on their face as they realise they get it.
To be persuasive we must be believable
To be believable we must be credible
To be credible we must be truthful
- Edward R. Murrow
Besides what I have shared above, here are a few more things to remember:
“You don’t have to be a ‘person of influence’ to be influential. In fact, the most influential people in my life are probably not even aware of the things they have taught me.”
The quote above is so true. I am amazed at how I have influenced many a person, whether by speaking to me or coming into contact with something I have written. It is so rewarding to know that they were able to learn or get something from me, or something that I said, which enabled them to follow their dreams and reach their goals. That is true success.
What is your influence? What is your success? Go out there and make someone’s day and keep smiling.
Each year the breakout sessions at the Administrative Professionals Conference organize topics into general program categories called Tracks. One of this year’s Tracks calls for us to Leverage Connections, Communication, and Collaboration. Your ability to produce results is often based on your capacity to work effectively with a diverse group of colleagues. This track includes sessions on gaining insight into yourself and others, teamwork and collaboration, connecting across differences and more effective written communication. Learn more
This article first appeared in Executive Secretary Magazine, a global training publication and must read for any administrative professional. You can get a 30% discount when you subscribe through us. Visit the website at www.executivesecretary.com to find out more or to get your 30% discount email [email protected] and tell them we sent you.
About the Author: Michele Thwaits is an Executive Assistant, Motivational speaker, Training, Coach and Mentor. Currently Executive Assistant to President and Head of Africa Cluster, Novartis, Michele speaks at many functions, conferences and seminars. She also conducts training workshops, & chairs secretarial seminars. Michele is a Member of Academy of Excellence & was an IYOTSA 2014 task team member. She has written articles for InTouch newsletter (PAFSA), TalkSA newsletter (IAAP), Career Success Magazine and A-Z publications.
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