Business 101

Creating a rapport with others is not only a human need but also crucial for the success of any endeavor, because we exist in an interconnected web of life. When people feel connected with each other, they are more likely to work enthusiastically and cohesively, building on each other’s strengths. Research indicates that 70% of workplace learning is informal, meaning that when people are talking to each other at work, they are actually learning to do their jobs better.

Friendlier workers are more effective communicators, more productive and trusted. However, our different backgrounds, values, and prejudices often get in the way of building rapport. So how do we bridge this gap?

Here are some ways:

Smile your way in – A smile is the easiest way to establish rapport. It instantly lowers defenses on both sides. In short, the other can’t help but smile back. Research shows that when you smile you’re viewed as attractive, reliable, relaxed and sincere.

Pay complete attention – Be alert to both verbal and non-verbal cues. Ask open-ended questions and encourage people to express themselves freely. This will make them feel valued.

Take genuine interest -Take a genuine interest in getting to know what’s important to the other person.

Compliment often – We all seek appreciation and approbation from our fellow humans. Irrespective of our apparent differences there is always something which can be admired in others.

Find common ground – People like people who are similar to them. Often finding a common area of interest like sports/hobbies/education or admiring something you like in the other can serve as a good start for conversation and camaraderie.

Empathize – Putting yourself in somebody else’s shoes is the best way to grasp their perspective. This understanding can help you to not only create better rapport but also frame the best possible response for a given situation.

Be authentic – When your actions are consistent with your values and principles you inspire trust and admiration in others, even if they do not agree with you. Trust is the fundamental building block of rapport building and it plays a key role in establishing a healthy long-term relationship.

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