How to Win Friends and Influence People - with NLP
Articles Inspirational articles from Hay House authors
How to Win Friends and Influence People - with NLPTry these rapport-building NLP techniques from Ali Campbell
I’m sure you’ll have had the experience of meeting a person for the first time and knowing instantly that this is the sort of person you can do business or be friends with.
Everything you say or do seems to click and you just feel pleased to know the other person. You may have walked away afterwards and said something like, ‘We got on like a house on fire from the first words we spoke.’ Or even, ‘It was love at first sight.’ Clearly rapport is a feeling and a visual if you really want to break it down like that.
There are countless instances in our private and business lives where we need to begin creating rapport with another person. It can be so useful to become skilled at rapport building. Get good at it and it’ll stand you in very good stead in all areas of your life with other people.
Perhaps you are attending a job interview, hoping to make a sale to a customer or wishing to create a great first impression with the guy or girl of your dreams. All great examples of rapport situations and we have all had that experience of just having clicked with someone and feeling that we really liked them and vice versa without truly knowing them that well.
How about at a party with strangers? Have you ever found yourself feeling more at ease with some than others, even though you don’t know any of them at all well? Almost as if you have nothing to base it on, nothing you can put your finger on, and yet there’s definitely something there.
You have, I know, also had the completely opposite experience. It seems as if you are talking to a brick wall. The other person seems to have perhaps just a flicker, or no interest at all, in what you are saying. Even if you stood there all day, you are convinced that you would make no progress and you’d do as well talking to a lamppost.
We think of people as easy or difficult to get along with, but it is much more likely that we just haven’t taken the time or trouble to communicate with each other properly. We have all been there, and it could happen again, but now it doesn’t have to.
Why do we need to create rapport?
Being able to build great rapport with another person is a powerful skill to have when used ecologically/honestly. It allows you to connect with another person so they trust you much more and at a different level – here are some examples of when building deep and meaningful rapport is a great thing to do:
* For anyone that works as a coach – being in rapport with your client allows them to feel at ease; you’ll get a better result for the client as they hold less back.
* Anyone that works in education – if a student trusts you, they will learn better and faster.
* Those in the medical profession – patients tend to open up more to professionals they trust; often, patients can be nervous or anxious so if that patient trusts you, it allows you to deliver a more relaxed and quality service.
* Anyone who works in customer service or sales - or in fact anyone dealing with people or who helps anyone else in any way.
There are so many other examples, but what do you notice about the ones above?
The other person always has a better experience because of it!
There are many ways to build rapport – most work best when you practise the techniques so that you are able to do them unconsciously without even thinking.
* Match your client’s breathing: This automatically brings your physiologies into alignment with one another. As they breathe in and out, just match your breathing to theirs.
* Match their body movements: If they have their legs crossed, do the same. Or perhaps (and a little subtler), cross another part of your body. If they lean forwards, match that movement too... subtly though or they will just think you’re a bit odd.
* Reflect their choice of words back to them: If they use visual words (see, looks, visualize, etc.) then use this language too – it may feel a little awkward but it will allow you to build rapport faster and deeper, and unless you are really clumsy, they will never notice.
You know the difference between theory and practice... in theory, everything works, but in practice, you have to work at it.
So the next time you are in a meeting or social situation with lots of other people and it’s all going well, just take a look around the room. I bet that the majority of the people’s body language will be in synch: they’ll all cross their legs together or lean back in their chairs at the same time. If you pay particular attention, they will be more or less breathing at the same rate too. This is true rapport in action.
If you then deliberately mismatch these actions, you’ll feel your body stepping out of rapport. You may even notice other people looking round at you and a shift in the energy in the room. Try it, it’s odd but it works... then, when you are one-to-one with someone and you are in rapport, deliberately move in your chair, take a drink of coffee or cross your legs and notice what happens. If you are in good robust rapport, they will do something very similar within a second or two.
Editor's Note: Learn more great techniques like these in NLP (Hay House Basics) by Ali Campbell, which will be published by Hay House on Monday 6 July 2015. Get a sneak peek at the book now and read the first chapter in this extract: