Why Body Language Is Only A Tiny Part Of Building Rapport


Body language: The unsung hero of building rapport

Ever wondered why some folks gel like fish and chips, while others mix as well as oil and water? It’s all about body language, that secret sauce in the recipe of human connections! Let’s dive into the wacky world of non-verbal cues, shall we?

The power of the unspoken: match, mirror, and mingle

You know the drill: you’re chatting away, and without even thinking, you’re copying the other person’s gestures like a seasoned mime artist—until you realise what you’re doing!

But don’t stop! This ninja skill is called matching and mirroring, and it’s more than just a party trick. It’s the backbone of rapport, which, in turn, is the foundation of trust. No trust = no connection—simple as that!

“People wait for something to happen in order to be happy; the key is to be happy regardless”​​ ~ Richard Bandler

Happiness, like rapport, starts with a connection.

Beyond the mirror: The art of rapport

Sure, you might be a natural at this, mirroring away like you’re born to do it. But there’s more to rapport than just copycat gestures. It’s an art, a dance of sorts, and not everyone’s got their dancing shoes on. Ever been on a first date (or even a business meeting) and felt like you were chatting with a brick wall? Yep, that’s rapport (or lack thereof) at work!

Clothes, breathing, and the spine: The unusual suspects

In my chat with Aaron Mooar on Raglan Community Radio (which you’ll find at the end of this post), we explored some lesser-known but equally wonderful ways to build rapport. We’re talking about your fashion statements, the rhythm of your breathing, and even the angle of your spine—who knew posture could be so chatty?

And hey, did you know that your voice’s speed, tone, and rhythm can either be your best friend or your worst enemy in making connections? It’s like a melody that can either soothe or irk the listener. So, make your voice a lullaby, not a cacophony!

Influence: The gentle art of persuasion

And here’s the kicker: building rapport isn’t just about getting cozy with someone. It’s about influence—and I’m not talking about Jedi mind tricks here. It’s about mutual understanding and shaping each other’s thoughts, just by being our fabulous selves.

The dance of rapport

So, grab your metaphorical dancing shoes and join me in this tango of trust and connection. Who knows? You might just find yourself waltzing into deeper, more meaningful relationships, all thanks to the silent music of body language!

This earlier post gives you more insight into the matching and mirroring facet of rapport.

We also discuss the importance of building rapport to understand and influence each other

I don’t mean influence in nefarious or manipulative ways. If we’re in rapport, it’s natural for us to influence each other in every conversation—just by listening and doing our best to understand one another.

Influence, therefore, goes both ways.

Your short list to building rapport

List below for more insights

  • The clothes we wear (yes, really!)
  • Breathing patterns.
  • Eye contact.
  • Posture and gesture (including the ones that will get you out of rapport!)
  • The angle of the spine.
  • Voice speed, volume, tone, and rhythm. (Including why you shouldn’t mimic someone’s accent.)
  • Keywords and words that represent values.
  • Sharing common experiences, connections, and capabilities.
  • Beliefs and values.

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Tags: Authenticity, Body language, Communication skills, Interpersonal skills, Podcasts and audio tips, Self-awareness, work and career


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