Is a new person joining your project team? Are you managing a new team of people? Are you meeting a customer or prospective customer for the first time? There are a number of situations in which a program manager needs to quickly establish a trusting relationship with a new acquaintance in order to be effective. Building rapport is one of the keys to establishing a such a relationship, a relationship in which there can be a free flow of information and ideas. This series of blogs describes tools that can aid you in building rapport.
People like people like themselves. We are wired this way. This trait is the premise for a rapport-building technique called mirroring, whereby you make yourself a reflection of the person with whom you are interacting. In as much as that person sees his/her reflection in you, the person relaxes and feels comfortable. Mirroring is important at the physical level, the behavioral level and the cognitive level. This series will touch on all three.
The techniques I describe focus on the non-verbal side of rapport building. Of course, there is also the verbal side of rapport building, the most important tool of which is….. listening! I trust that Generous Listening is already a prominent tool in your rapport-building toolkit. This series of posts will provide you with some non-verbal tools to include in your kit.