Rapport is one of the most important characteristics of human interaction. Simply speaking, building rapport or being in rapport is being on the same wavelength, or the same page as the person with whom you are communicating. Rapport is also a feeling of harmonious connection between people or groups of people. Building rapport is an essential skill anyone can master.

NLP developed a number of tools and techniques to increase the depth of this harmonious connection. Here are three techniques that you will use to increase your awareness and enter the world view of the people with whom you communicate.

1. Listen to the words. There is a direct relationship between the words you speak and your beliefs, values, ideas or understandings you have regarding yourself, others and the world around you. Your language is a projection of what’s going on inside of you: your thoughts and your feelings. When you listen carefully to the words of the person you talk to and use his or her words, you begin to enter their world view, understand them better how they think or feel, which will ultimately help you persuade and influence them with greater ease.

2 Watch the paralanguage. Paralanguage refers to the non-verbal elements of a communication. Paralanguage may be expressed consciously or unconsciously, and it includes the pitch, volume and rhythm of the voice. Body language, postures and gestures is also something to look after. Body language includes posture, gestures and also facial expressions. When you notice and match the tone, the pitch and the rhythm of a person’s voice, you have just built instant rapport.

3. Look for the meta-programs. NLP uses the term meta-programs to indicate the habitual patterns used by an individual in a given situation. Examples of NLP meta-programs include the preference for overview versus detail, the preference for where to place your attention during a conversation, your outcome preference, your preferred social styles (assertiveness, indifference, and tolerance), your convincer patterns, learning preferences and many more.

Listening to the words that literally represent the thoughts and emotions of the person, watching their paralanguage and noticing the meta-programs and using them at your advantage are the 3 stages of ultimate rapport. The deeper or the more harmonious the connection, the more empathy and understanding you will have toward people. It is helpful in all sorts of situations: therapy, negotiation, sales, during a hiring process. I guarantee that if couples and families know about these 3 stages of ultimate rapport, there would be less misunderstanding, frustration and divorce.

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