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NLP & Rapport

In an nutshell!

Rapport is the quality of harmony, recognition and mutual acceptance that exists between people when they are at ease with one another and where communication is occurring easily.

Why use this?

In general, we gravitate towards people that we consider similar to us, because people like people who are like themselves - like likes like. In rapport the common ground or similarities are emphasised and the differences are minimised.

Rapport is an essential basis for successful communication - if there is no rapport there is no (real) communication!

Rapport as a skill

We naturally experience rapport with close friends or in the company of those with whom we share an intense common interest. However the ability to create rapport is a skill that can be learned and which can be used to facilitate our relationship with anybody, in any setting, and even with those with whom we profoundly disagree.

How to use this

Among the many ways of creating rapport the most effective are

  1. By subtly matching non-verbal communication - especially voice patterns and eye contact patterns

  2. By developing a genuine interest in the other person and in their model of the world.

1. Matching non-verbal communication

Non-verbal rapport using the sound of your voice and your eye contact pattern is the quickest and most useful way to begin. Do as little as is necessary to achieve rapport, since it must be very subtle and out of the other person's awareness. And rarely, if ever, match gestures.

Step 1: Match them by subtly matching their non-verbal behaviour. (This is sometimes called 'pacing'.)

Step 2: 'Lead' by making a small non-matching change in your own non-verbal behaviour. If they follow (typically 20-60 seconds later) with a similar shift then you have rapport. If not go back and repeat Step 1.

2. A genuine interest in them

One of the most effective ways of creating rapport does not fit easily into the Match & Lead pattern described above. This is where rapport occurs because of your genuine interest in the other person’s model of the world.

Developing your rapport skill
  1. To extend  your ability to create rapport you need to have excellent sensory acuity and calibration skills Spend time practising just one form of matching until you can use this easily and without thinking about it. Then add another element. Then another, and so on. That's all there is to it - keen observation and practice.
  2. With consistent practice you will be able to effortlessly create rapport with total strangers in just a few minutes, whether or not you like them, and whether or not you have areas of common interest.

And remember, engaging in rapport must be subtle. If the process intrudes into the other person's conscious awareness they may respond unfavourably or become uncomfortable.

By Reg Connolly, Director of Training, Pegasus NLP


There is more information about NLP here


Why learn NLP

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Where to learn NLP - and how to choose a training provider

NLP Core Skills - our course in the New Forest

What's special about Pegasus NLP Trainings

What people have said about our courses

How we integrate NLP with outdoor activities




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