How to Build Rapport

Rapport is more than finding a way to match and mirror another person in an effort to make a connection. Rapport starts with a first impression and goes deeper to move individuals to the same wavelength. To build rapport, you must come to recognize the uniqueness of a particular individual and strive for harmony in how you relate to one another.

Acknowledge that you are a key ingredient as you work to build rapport with another person. Your interests, values, beliefs, skills and purpose in life can help you create a connection with someone else naturally if you both have these things in common.

Understand that you can still build rapport with someone even if you disagree with that person's opinion. What matters is that your actions show that you think the individual is of value.

Be courteous and express empathy as you build rapport. Show a genuine interest in a person as you try to understand what is important to that individual. If you lack sincerity in your efforts, the person you're trying to create a connection with can notice your deception and take offense to your behavior.

Pay attention to how the person shares information with you and use a similar style as you exchange your thoughts. Be flexible and learn to communicate with that individual in a way that makes the person feel comfortable.

Show respect for what the other person values. Be considerate of another person's time, finances or other assets. In sum, the key to building rapport with another person is showing that you respect the things that matter most to that individual.