Why Body Language Is Only A Tiny Part Of Building Rapport


Body language affects your connection with others

If you’ve learned about human behaviour, you’ll understand that most of us unintentionally build rapport; we match and mirror each other’s non-verbal/body language. Rapport is so important because it forms the basis of trust, and without trust, it’s impossible to move a relationship forward. We often build rapport by matching and mirroring each other’s non-verbal or body language. The theory is that we like people who are like us. So we unconsciously ‘copy’ someone’s body language to appear similar. This earlier post gives you more insight into the matching and mirroring facet of rapport.

But rapport is more than matching and mirroring

You probably match and mirror others unknowingly, but that doesn’t mean you should leave it to chance. Some people are exceptional at building rapport — but they don’t realise when they’re doing it. And that can be a problem because it isn’t always appropriate — or even possible to be in physical rapport. And if you don’t recognise how you’re doing something, how can you interrupt or change it?

Your ability to build rapport is the foundation for any successful relationship

If you don’t warm to someone immediately, you might get out of rapport with them — stopping any ideas of developing a relationship dead in their tracks! Not perhaps the best way to begin a first date, a job interview, or your first day on the job. And just another reason it’s vital to be aware of these skills, rather than just leaving them to chance.

You might have known someone for years and never created a genuine connection with them. In contrast, you could experience such a deep relationship with someone you’ve just met that it feels like you’ve known them forever.

Apart from matching and mirroring, discover alternative methods for building rapport

In this interview/podcast with Aaron Mooar on Raglan Radio, you’ll learn lesser-known ways to develop rapport. While not as well known, they’re just as powerful.

They comprise:

  • 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.

As usual, Aaron contributes some great examples of his own work and life experiences.

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.


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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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