Improving Communication through Building Rapport with Others
The ability to build rapport with others in the workplace enables for more effectively meeting goals and achieving objectives. We communicate better with others when we have established a rapport with them. When we have established a rapport with our colleagues, we:
- Understand their feelings
- Share similar interests
- Share ideas more readily
- Know their core values
- Know the best way to communicate with them
Building rapport happens when we take time to build strong working relationships and establish trust with others. While building rapport happens naturally as we establish strong working relationships with others and begin to see how we are similar and share certain interests. Sometimes we need to build rapport for a specific situation.
An Example of Building Rapport
Consider a situation where you are about to enter into a business negotiation. You know nothing about the other party in the negotiation. You know you need to build rapport in order to understand their feelings about the negotiation, as well as to get to their “wants” and “needs.” If you have find some common ground, you are more likely to achieve a win-win solution.
You set up an introductory meeting with the individual with whom you are entering negotiations. During this meeting, you introduce yourself both on a professional level but also a personal level. To do this, you share that you and your spouse had a baby boy a few months ago. The individual with whom you are meeting shares about himself and also comments that just a few months ago he and his wife welcomed a baby girl into the world. You have found some common ground.
As you talk, you pay attention to:
- Body language
- Voice – speech rate and tone
- Words used in talking
As you talk further about the negotiation and how best to proceed with negotiations, you and the other party begin to learn the following about each other:
- Beliefs and value systems
- Needs and wants from the negotiation
You are building rapport with the other party. You are learning what is important for them to achieve in the negotiation which enables you to craft a win-win solution.