How to build rapport
Simple: just be nice, and behave yourself!
Not too difficult, surely? Just treat people with respect. That’s what everybody craves, whoever they are. Respect. Something very deep within us all. People even commit serious violence, simply because they believed they were not respected. Why?
Because no-one can accept being rejected as a person, perceived as nothing! We all deserve respect, whoever we are. But why do we all deserve respect? Surely the “bad guys” have forfeited their right to respect?
I don’t think so! Why? because I am convinced that every single human being deserves respect. Whoever they are. Whatever they have done.
How can I say that? I follow the ancient wisdom that distinguishes between the “sinner” and the “sin.” It states: “Hate the sin. Yes. But love the sinner.”
Such a belief will help us treat others with respect. Respect for another person’s humanity is the very first building block of mutual rapport and understanding.
An important attitude of rapport
So, to build rapport, an attitude of caring, displaying kindness and concern, will always attract the other person.
This is true of people we consider criminals. Those who work with them have found that they respond to a friendly, caring attitude of understanding in those who have to interview them.
If this seems hard to do, remember life’s not black and white. Good guys and bad guys. We’re all a mixture of good, bad and indifferent. Even so-called bad guys are not totally corrupt. There’s always a core of “better self” that can be discovered and appealed to.
Given the right attitude of rapport and understanding, a pathway to redemption can be opened up. Real life demonstrates countless examples of this happy outcome. People who have “ found God.” in prison. Many others who have found a way forward, quite apart from any religious context. They’ve come to realise there’s another way: they’re “better than that.”
If only we could have such rapport and understanding in our world today, we would already be nearly “back to the Garden” – walking in an earthly paradise. Just think what a massive asset this could be – in every conceivable walk of life!
The “era of peace and understanding” would finally have arrived!
No caring = no rapport
What happens if this respectful, caring and open attitude is missing? If we feel the other person doesn’t really care about us, looks down on us, even rejects us in some way, then we turn off immediately. We are tempted to think:
“Is this person just trying to use me? What does she/he want?”
Such an attitude is the death of any possible rapport. It can only lead to strained relationships, quarrels, rejection, violence and, in extreme cases, even murder. More like a living nightmare.
Unfortunately in today’s world, it would seem that millions still don’t get the message. Just listen to the news any day of the week.
Rapport flows from love
Perhaps we can tie rapport-building in with “fraternal love”. Fraternal love simply means we care for others as if they were our brothers. In fact, we actually are all brothers and sisters – in the wider sense of us all being constituent members of the human family.
Bearing this profound relationship in mind, we are less tempted to make quick, superficial and negative judgements about others.
Deep down, we’re all family, and life’s all about love.
The awesome power of loving rapport
Only love can open people up, and then we discover who they really are. As they say, “A stranger is simply a brother/sister I haven’t met yet.” We’re all in this together. That’s the root of our caring – we are all family.
People always soften when faced with unconditional love. They allow their better side to show. Even hardened criminals crave love, and will be moved and changed by it.
Rapport is simply a fancy word meaning that we get on with people, and we feel at ease; conversation, and even laughter, come effortlessly. Rapport is the necessary and inevitable outcome of treating another with love and acceptance.
Authentic rapport is crucial
But the love, caring and positive attitudes must be authentic and genuine. It is very difficult to pretend to accept someone, when inside we’re quite different. Inside and outside just don’t gel.
The other person becomes aware of it, because it shows in a hundred little ways. Pretense and rapport are incompatible.
How is pretense discovered? It’s seen in the face, capable of a thousand little gestures that betray and mirror what’s going on inside. Even experts in body language find it almost impossible to disguise their true feelings – in tiny little ways, their face, and countless other spontaneous body movements, give them away.
Rapport for us all!
In conclusion: anyone can build better rapport, by focusing on respect, acceptance and love of others.