What is it about some people that give them the ability to attract and hold influence with just about anyone? Especially when there are others out there who seem to be able to repel just about everyone. The former is called rapport, also more commonly known as “connection”. The later goes by a number of names (most can’t be written here).
Why is the ability to establish strong rapport so important? Because it’s essential if you want to have optimal influence with people as well as organizations.
While most of us are between the two extremes mentioned above, the reality is that all of us, like a magnet, are capable of either attracting or repelling to various degrees.
Who are the people in your life you’ve seen or known who seem to have a natural ability to attract anyone, even the most disagreeable? It’s not just about being “nice”. In fact, having great rapport gives you the ability to say hard things to hard people who not only listen, but really feel like you still care for them…..even when the stakes are large, emotions run high and opinions differ. My dad is like that and has been as long as I can remember. In fact, he is so good at it that when I was a kid he could shift me from crying to being optimistic in seconds sometimes, or even have me laughing.
5 Forces That Attract
While some people no doubt are naturally gifted at rapport, the good news is that you can grow your rapport by focusing on the following five forces:
- Self-awareness- is simply to know yourself as you really are in all domains. It comes from developing a straight-forward understanding of how you experience things and what makes you tick.
- Empathy- is simply to see and feel things from someone else’s perspective; to put yourself in someone else shoes. At a more granular level, there are various kinds of empathy as well as ways to effectively leverage it.
- Positive Regard- is not just viewing another as a person worthy of respect, but allowing yourself to experience positive attitudes like warmth, caring, and interest about them as well. You don’t have to necessarily like him or her, you just have to keep your personal judgements from interfering with a view from which positive attitudes can flow.
- Genuiness- may also be known as authenticity or congruence and relates to trust. It’s not just about what you do but about who you are: open vs closed; owning it vs avoiding it; kind as well as challenging when necessary.
- Presence- It’s a way of bringing yourself and being with another with. It is an in-the-moment experience that is bodily, sensory and interpersonal and features a quite confidence and accompanying gravitas.
3 Foundational Traits
While the five forces that attract are extremely powerful and synergistic, they have to rest on a three-fold foundation:
- Self-control- is required to maintain focus, manage self-talk, making judgments, regulate emotions and find the positives in the other person regardless of their characteristics or situation.
- “Psychological mindedness”- involves being aware of the thoughts, feelings and behaviors of both the other person and yourself, then “reading between the lines” and putting the pieces together.
- Genuine interest- means you have the other person best interests in mind and care about them…even when you have to work hard at it.
The ability to establish strong rapport is essential for optimal connection and influence. Is your’s where you want it?
As you reflect on what your rapport building ability, a good exercise is to think of how various people might answer if someone else asked them about it. That would include not only your fans but those who are a challenge for you as well .
Regardless, the good news is that you can grow your ability to build rapport. The other news is you have to work at it.
What would having the ability to build better rapport do for you personally as well as your most important enterprise?
Please leave a comment and let me know, I’d love to hear about it.