5 Steps to Building Rapport with Others

How many new people do you meet per week?

If I’m out and about without my head buried in a book, I might meet three new people per day. Assuming the interaction is more than a cursory, “Nice to meet you,” it might be beneficial to build rapport with those new acquaintances.

1. Strive to be Interested Instead of Interesting: Have you ever wondered if you were “interesting enough” to strike up a conversation with someone you just met? Good news: It is not required that you be interesting. All that’s needed is that you be interested. (Ironically, truly interested people become fascinating!)

2. Match Their Topic of Conversation: In your desire to not take up too much of their time, you might think you should avoid small talk. Not necessarily. You would build better rapport if you went with the flow, following the other person’s lead. “Drywall,” you say? Then drywall it is!

3. Match Their Style of Communication: Some people’s style is loud and fast. Some people’s style is quiet and slow. You would do well to observe the other person’s style and be flexible enough to match it. Like a chameleon, adapt to your environment within reason. Be yourself, but a flexible self.

4. Observe and Respond to Their Body Language: Some people are expansive. Others are contained. Some people are huggers. Others keep you at arm’s length. Observe and match their style. Again, this is within reason. No need to return an unwanted peck on the cheek.

5. Give a Sincere and Specific Compliment: “The information you gave me was so helpful!” “Thank you for making me feel welcome.” “It was generous of you to introduce me to your co-workers.” Be sincere and specific.



Pam Chambers
Speaker and Presentation Coach
Pam Chambers Consulting


Categories: 5 Steps