3 Steps to Establish Rapport Instantly With Anyone

Connecting with people is one of the keys to success.

In fact, the better you are at connecting with people, the better the quality of your life.

Studies have found that there is a direct correlation between good connection with family, friends, community, and good health, independently of socioeconomic status and health practices such as smoking, drinking alcohol, physical activity…

When you learn how to make meaningful connections fast with other people, your relationships at work and even at home improves, and your life quality improves.

The reason why you need to establish likability in 90 seconds or less is that the attention span of the average person is about 30 seconds.

Attention craves novelty and is easily distracted.

For that, you need to capture attention with your likability and then hold on to it with the quality of rapport you establish.

Today you’re going to learn how to establish rapport with anyone in 90 seconds or less.

Ready? Let’s get started!

There are three parts to connect with others; meeting, establishing rapport and communication.

#1. The Meeting.


Meeting can be broken into five parts:

1. Open

The first step is to open your attitude and your body.

Check that you have a positive attitude and that your body language is open.

Unbutton your jacket or coat and keep your heat aimed directly at the person you’re meeting.

2. Eye

The second step is to look at this person directly in the eye and keep eye contact.

3. Beam

This goes along with making eye contact. Be the first to smile and let your smile reflect your positive attitude.

4. Hi!

When you greet someone say it with a pleasing tone and attach your name to it like saying “Hi! I’m Melissa”.

Be the first to identify yourself. When they say their name, find a way to memorize it, like repeating it a few times by saying “Mark. Nice to meet you, Mark!”

5. Lean

The final step is to begin to “synchronize” the person you’ve just met. You can do this by tilting forward very subtly to indicate your interest and openness.

#2. Establishing Rapport


Establishing rapport is about finding a common ground where two or more people can mentally join together.

You bring to the conversation things such as warmth, attentiveness, a sense of humor…, and you bring back things such as empathy, a few jokes… the reward for achieving rapport is the other person’s positive acceptance.

It can go something like this “I know we’ve just met, but I like you and I trust you with my attention.”

Establishing rapport is achieved through four things:

1. Your attitude

Your attitude sets the quality and mood for your thoughts, your voice tone, and your spoken words.

Most importantly, it controls your facial and body language. In other words, the quality of your attitude determines the quality of your relationships and just about everything else in your life.

One way to adopt a useful attitude is to think in terms of what you do want instead if what you don’t want.

Instead of thinking “I don’t want my boss yelling at me,” try saying, “I want to be promoted.” Attitudes can distort your reality in a good or bad way.

The good news is that they are yours to select, so why not choose a useful one?

2. Your ability to synchronize certain aspects of behavior like body language and voice tone

Your body language and your facial expressions account for more than one-half of what other people respond to and make assumptions about. In order to establish rapport, you need to make your body language open by exposing your heart and body.

This includes an open coat or jacket, facing the person, open hands, uncrossed arms, eye contact, and the occasional subtle movement toward the other person.

This communicates interest, enthusiasm, and approval.

However, Your body doesn’t know how to lie. It, unconsciously, reflects your thoughts and feelings. This is why having a useful attitude is the first step in establishing rapport.

In fact, if your words are contradicting your body language, the rapport can be interrupted.

The tone of voice plays a key role in establishing rapport. In fact, congruity occurs when your body language, voice tone, and words are all in alignment.

The same words can have different meanings depending on the voice tone used in expressing them. Someone can sound angry when he’s just excited.

We like people who are like us. We feel at ease and we’re more likely to trust them.

This is why your ability to synchronize certain aspects of behavior like body language and voice tone, determines the likelihood of establishing rapport with the other person.

To synchronize with someone try matching his attitude and body language.

So if he’s excited, show excitement too. Match his movements, if he moves his right hand, move your right hand too. Remember that your movements must be subtle and respectful.

3. Your conversation skills

Conversation is a very important way to build rapport.

If you want to use it to your advantage, focus on asking open questions and actively listening to the other person.

1. Asking Open Questions

Open questions, that start with Who? When? What? Why? Where? How? request an explanation and require the other person to do the talking.

On the other hand, closed questions, that start with Are you…? Do you…? Have you…? require a “yes” or “no” answer won’t get you anywhere with the conversation and you’ll be back where you started, thinking of another question to maintain some semblance of a conversation.

A simple trick for striking up a conversation is to begin with a statement about the location or the occasion that you already have in common and then ask an open question.

For example, you can say, “It’s an elegant room,” or “The service is wonderful.” And then ask an open question such as, “How well did you know him?”

2. Active Listening

Through active listening, you demonstrate to the other person that you’re truly interested in him and what he has to say.

It means to actively attempt to grasp and understand the facts and the underlying feelings of what is being said.

This doesn’t mean that you need to give up your own opinions, it simply means that you’re there to empathize as much as possible with the other person.

This can be done through:

– Giving the appropriate feedback and encouragement by using “Primal Sighs” and “International Grunts” like “Wow,” “Aha,” “Oh,” and “Hmm,” or using full-blown reactions like “Oh, really,” “And then what?” and “You’re not serious. So, what did she do?”

– Keeping your body language open by nodding in agreement, maintaining eye contact, and occasionally looking away in thought to give the impression of participation like looking at your hands.

At the same time, hold up your end of the conversation. Slow down your rate of speech to feel more confident and speak clearly and deliberately.

4. Your ability to discover which sense (visual, auditory or kinesthetic) the other person relies on most

People can be roughly divided into three groups based on how they filter the world through their senses.

These groups are Visual, Auditory, and Kinesthetic people.

1. Visual. Visuals tend to use picture words, and will give primary importance to the way things look.

2. Auditory. Auditories tend to choose sound words, and will respond to the way things sound.

3. Kinesthetic. Kinesthetics tend to use physical words, and will be concerned with the way things feel.

For example in a conversation, visuals might say, “I can see what you mean,” while auditories can say, “I hear what you’re saying,” and kinesthetics can say, “That feels right to me.”

No one is 100% visual or auditory or kinesthetic, we’re a mixture of all three. However, one of these systems dominates the other two.

By tuning in to the sensory of preference of people, you’ll be able to establish rapport faster.

This can be helpful in sales. By identifying whether your customer is visual, auditory, or kinesthetic, you can focus more on how the product looks, sounds, or feels.

The table below offers some strategies you can employ to appeal to people’s different communication styles:

– Let’s look at it differently.
– See how this works for you.
– I can’t quite picture it.
– I see what you mean.
– Can you imagine?
– Let me make this clear.
– That sounds about right.
– That rings a bell.
– I hear what you’re saying.
– Tune in to what I’m saying.
– That sounds OK to me.
– Tell me how.
– In a manner of speaking.
– That doesn’t feel right.
– I can’t get a grip on this.
– Stay in touch.
– That doesn’t sit right with me.
– I have bad feelings about this.
– How do you feel about…?
– I’m not following you.
– Hang in there.

The better you become in these four areas, the faster you’ll connect and establish rapport with others.

#3. Communicating


Effective communication can be achieved through two main parts:

1. Know what you want. Decide what you want from the communication and formulate your intentions in the affirmative and in the present tense.

So instead of saying, “I don’t want to be lonely,” try saying, “I want a successful relationship. I have filled my imagination with what the relationship will look, sound, and feel like.”

2. Get feedback and change what you do until you get what you want. Design a plan and follow through with it. For example, invite someone out every Friday night.

Do it and get feedback and adjust what needs to be adjusted. Repeat it until you get what you want.

Your turn…
We love hearing from you. Please share your thoughts with us in the comments below.


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Portions of this article were adapted from the book How To Make People Like You In 90 Minutes Or Less, © 2008 by Nicholas Boothman. All rights reserved.

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