How do we connect even though we are connected?
Over my career, I have attended numerous trainings regarding interviewing. Every one of them tells you to get rapport but they seldom explain it. Rapport is simply the most important aspect of any interview, communication, and connection with another person.
Technology, our attention span and our associated Dopamine dependent activities have impeded our ability to connect leaving us powerless. Whether you are a Baby Boomer, Generation X, Millennial or Generation Z we all have been inflicted with technology dependent apps and programs that give us the allusion that we are connected. This could not be further from the truth.
If you are interviewing anyone and trying to obtain information or attempting to persuade someone to cooperate, the ability to connect through rapport is paramount to your success.
Here are six elements that when used can help you establish rapport:
The first element is to match the modality that a person is communicating with. Is the person using Auditory, Visual or Kinesthetic words? Individuals will predominately use Auditory, Visual & Kinesthetic words when speaking.
The second element of rapport is the mirroring of another person’s body language. It’s the process of copying someone so they see a mirror image of themselves and subconsciously think that this person is just like them.
The third element is to match their voice. Meaning their tone, rate of speech and how they articulate words. Think of someone from New York speaking to someone in the Midwest. The New Yorker is going to have to lower his or her tone and rate of speech.
The fourth element is to match their breathing. Think about how a baby sleeps on a mother’s chest. If its hard to tell how someone is breathing focus on an individuals shoulders as they move.
The fifth element is to match the size of the pieces of information meaning is a person detail orientated or big picture (chunk size) so make sure that you are matching the content chunks that the person deals with.
The sixth element is to match a person’s common experience. We can do this by asking questions. The key concept is to find something in common with another person.
What do people like talking about most? Themselves of course. Another technique to help establish rapport and seek clarification is to repeat key words that a person is using. Finally, touch which produces Oxytocin can be used by shaking someone’s hand and placing their other hand on a person’s arm. This helps cement rapport, understanding and communication.
In a technological age where Emoji’s and texts are used and Facebook, Instagram and YouTube are the preferred communication method the art of connection has become lost. Take some time to develop those connections and use rapport to get what you need.