Strong and healthy relationships depend on developing a sense of rapport. Rapport is that feeling you get when you mentally connect with somebody. Sometimes it happens effortlessly, like when you meet your childhood best friend on the school bus or start talking with your future spouse at a block party.
On the other hand, there may be times when you struggle to find any common ground.
Even if you listen to Puccini and your coworkers prefer hip hop, you can learn to like and understand each other. Try these ideas for building rapport with anybody.
- Enhance your relationships. Rapport helps us to appreciate and respect each other. As you create greater harmony and understanding, you increase the quantity and quality of your friendships. You gain more love, companionship, and support.
- Advance your career. Having more affinity with others is also advantageous for your professional life. When others trust you, you open up new opportunities and increase your influence.
- Help others. Many experts believe that loneliness is a serious public health issue. Extending yourself to others can make you feel good about doing your part to reduce sadness and isolation.
- Slow down. It usually takes time to create social bonds. Be patient as you wait to see if a new acquaintance has the potential to blossom into something more.
- Listen closely. Paying attention to others is the first step in building rapport. Stay alert for nonverbal cues and ask relevant questions.
- Practice small talk. Friendly remarks about the weather can put others at ease and make waiting in line less boring. Put away your phone and cultivate your curiosity.
- Go deeper. While small talk tends to make us happier, profound conversations are even more rewarding. Once you find out that you and your date have the same favorite color, you may eventually move on to more personal matters.
- Be sincere. Pretending to be interested can backfire. If you can’t tell the difference between a Rembrandt and a Vermeer, others may guess that you’re not much of an art lover. You can still be happy for others whether their passion is painting or pit bulls.
- Give generously. Show others that you care about their welfare. Validate their feelings and empathize with their point of view. Recognize their strengths and praise them for making an effort.
- Search your memories. Having similar childhoods or family backgrounds can create commonalities. Maybe your next-door neighbor also grew up on a farm.
- Follow your interests. Hobbies are a great way to meet like-minded pals. Browse online to find meetup groups for woodworkers or tennis players. Hang out at specialty shops or attend local events.
- Use your work. While you might not want to share details of your personal activities with your coworkers, being in the same office gives you plenty of opportunities for collaboration. Teaming up on a project may transform you into buddies on and off the job.
- Share your dreams. Encouraging and supporting each other’s aspirations is one of the most meaningful ways to relate. Having someone on your side can help you to achieve more, and you’ll probably be grateful for their part in helping you learn and grow.
- Rely on your faith. Belonging to an organized religion gives you opportunities to worship with others who share your beliefs. If your spiritual practices are more individual, you might visit retreat and meditation centers where you can converse with other seekers.
While rapport is a two-way connection, there are many effective actions you can take on your own to encourage more friendship and understanding. Each time you reach out, you’re helping yourself and others to build more meaningful relationships.