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How to Build Rapport: 5 Tips on Connecting with Others

by Roveen Anyango
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While we might think that we have our destiny in our control, the thing is that we need each other to go far in life. Whether it be in your career, business, or relationships, connecting well with others is key. How does one build rapport?

Rapport is the harmonious relationship between people founded on mutual trust. Building rapport is one of the best ways of getting value out of networking.  In this article, we look at how to build rapport and make meaningful connections.

Find common ground

One of the best ways of building rapport is relating to the other person. Whether it be by identifying shared experiences, common traits or similar opinions. These common grounds provide for the perfect way to create a connection because it builds empathy as both of you share past experiences and understand each other’s feelings.

Actively listen

To earn the trust of the other person, you need to show that you value what they say and this means giving them your full attention. When the other person knows that you are paying attention to what they say, they become more open and honest with you.

It also encourages them to listen to you in return. Which then fosters a conversational atmosphere, leading to effective communication and thus, development of a good rapport.

Ask questions

Asking follow-up questions after someone has said something (not interrupting them to ask questions) demonstrates not just that you are listening keenly, but also, that you are invested in what they saying.

Asking follow-up questions allows for the speaker to go into more details on what they are talking about, opening the floor for more meaningful and in-depth conversations.

Avoid being judgmental

A good rapport develops when someone feels comfortable expressing themselves without fear of judgment. Thus, when seeking to develop a good rapport with others, withhold criticism or judgment and only share them when and if they request it.

If you are to critique, then don’t be condescending. Instead, critique with empathy and gentleness. This facilitates further openness from the other person.

Watch your body language

Without knowing it, we communicate a lot with our body language. this is called nonverbal communication. They include body posture, facial expressions and eye contact.

If you want to build a good rapport, face the person you are having a conversation with. Make comfortable eye contact (between 60-70% of the time you are conversing). Have an open body posture, meaning no folded hands or slumped shoulders.

A positive body language marks you out as someone trustworthy that the other person can confide in.

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