Howdy…. long time no see 🙂
Have you ever encounter this communication problem when you tried to explain your ideas or even just to have a little chit chat with someone you just knew?? Usually we do, for example… you are waiting for your train in Gambir station, and since the train is usually late (thanks to the shitty schedule… cough… cough… :p), some people read the newspaper just to kill the time. For more social people (yess… like you :D)… we tend to talk to people. Any people?? well… why not… of course it will be much more interesting if you can catch a hot chicks and chat with her. But… let just face the facts, guys!! its not going to happen!!! :p hehehhehe… lets just stick to our standard, we usually talk to a man, usually around 25 to 30, and hmmm…. well… neat, or at least has some kind of aura which tell us that we can talk to him. Some might say… “Of course you idiot!!! Do you think I’ll talk to some kind of weirdo who doesn’t even know how to smile or greet??!!” Well.. I think thats the thing which I want to talk about now 🙂 It might not be a problem for you, or for me…. because sometimes, we have an ability to observe people, and then instantly get some short of information from how he talks, his voice, his clothes or even his body language… and unconsciously, we know how to approach, talk and deal with them, or go away, if we feel a strong negative vibe from them. This kind of thing is called instant rapport, which unfortunately…. only given to a certain people. Some of us don’t have this kind of ability, and they may find it awkward to do it. But, afraid not… you can train yourself, and build the rapport!!! 😀
Hmmm… maybe it will be a good idea to start with the definition first. Cambrigde dictionary define rapport as “a good understanding of someone and an ability to communicate with them”. And then, what makes it so important??? Becauseeeeeeeee….. believe it or not, but knowing how to build rapport, you will be able to communicate with other people much more easily. You can deliver your idea smoothly. Well… you can also use this for other needs as well. For example… to persuade someone to buy your products (if you are a sales)… or to impress your future father in law 🙂 or even use it to haggle during your shopping spree (my favorite :p).
To build rapport, you need to understand the three key channels which affect the interpersonal communication. Based on the report from Albert Mehrabian, those three are: words (7%), Voice (38%), and body language (55%). Take notes!! it doesn’t mean that words are not important (since its only count for 7%). It does carry the most important thing, the core explicit message which we try to convey.
So what can we learn from that three key channels model?? Well… the answer is: To enter their world!!! Since you know the three elements which make up of words, voice, and body language; use these to know them. pay attention on how they talk, how they sit, how they move, their clothes, etc. Get as much information as you can so that you have enough room to get in their world. And then, you can try these three kinds of rapport building to communicate with them:
1. Mimicking. Copy their body language or voice patterns. Well… this one is quite simple, but might end up bad since its quite obvious to them and may cause them to feel uncomfortable :p So… I don’t recommend this one 😀
2. Mirroring. Adopt an aspect of their body language. Some say that this is usually done naturally. Try to remember… have you ever enjoy talking to someone and then noticing that you adopt the same posture?? crossing your leg for example, or putting your hands together? You can try to do it consciously to help build rapport by mirroring a certain aspects like the distribution of weight, body posture, position of arms and legs, placement of hands, etc. Choose two or three things which you can subtly match to enter their world.
3. Matching. Its like the mirroring, but in moving version. In addition to mirroring, you can add in the voice tone, volume, speed, even breath. Because its moving, and you incorporate voice as well, the effect is stronger.
So…. try to be more observant. Try and practice yourself to look at the other person clothes, gesture, the pattern of their speech, the tone, speed, tempo, etc. And try to match them 🙂 And remember, always try to look at their eyes. Do they look away, blink often, or focused to you. Match it!!
And.. ooo… almost forgot. Practice make perfect!!! 😀 Try it during your shopping spree… and see if you can haggle the price 😀