How To Create Rapport: 3 Simple Things You Can Do In Conversation

Maybe being in the spotlight isn’t for you. But maybe, you DO want to feel comfortable in your own skin when you meet someone new. You’d love to be able to converse with others without worrying about sounding awkward, unapproachable or unfriendly. You just want to know how to talk to people and be yourself at the same time.

Here are a few tips to create rapport with people in everyday life:

  1. Watch their body language closely, even mimic it a bit.

Body language is nearly universal, but not completely. If someone is talking to you with their arms crossed and legs in an open stance, it could mean they are putting distance between the two of you. It could also mean they are trying to establish authority. Or, it could mean they find it the most comfortable way to stand (which may mean they are a standoffish person themselves). Whichever is true, we are all programmed for communication. So pay attention, and you’ll pick up on the cues.

Also, people feel the most comfortable with people that are similar to them. For example, if you are interviewing for a job and your interviewer has his or her hands folded in their lap and are leaning back, try mimicking their posture. Creating subtle similarity in this way will make the other person more comfortable interacting with you. It’s called mirroring and matching.

  1. Focus on what they are saying – and you just might draw your own attention away from yourself.

To be a good listener, the method is quite simple – just listen, fully and consciously. If you let your mind drift, that’s when you become self-conscious, which can lead you to feel strange and awkward in conversation. Asking questions is key, if you want to seem interested. If they are not a talkative person, make them one, especially if you aren’t!

If we are 100% invested in what someone else has to say, then there’s no space to be inside our own heads, worrying about ourselves and how we come across. This is a great tactic not only to show the other person you care, but to make you feel more comfortable as well.

  1. Don’t over-compliment or overrelate.

A good way to start up a conversation is with a genuine compliment for the other person, and it’s even better if you qualify that compliment by explaining why you like their green scarf or their deep voice.You can then keep that conversation going by asking that person about their experiences and showing them you can relate by telling them some of your own.

However, if all you do is compliment the other person and relate everything they say back to yourself, then there’s a danger of coming across as ingenuine.

Next time you strike up a conversation with someone new, try a little experiment: when they tell you a story, don’t bring yourself into the mix. Keep the conversation going by asking questions and getting more information about them. It may be harder than you think, but getting in this habit will encourage people to open up to you and make them feel you’re genuinely interested in them.

Start establishing rapport in your daily life, and the confidence you build will spread, bringing with it success and a stronger sense of self.

Do you want to boost your confidence as a public speaker? get in touch with Shola today