Creating rapport when meeting someone for the first time

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Life ToolsMost of us tend to feel a bit awkward or uncomfortable when meeting someone for the first time. In this episode, we give you a 7 step tool to help make that first meeting go smoothly and increase the chance of creating a good relationship. When talking about how to gain rapport with someone, we are talking about creating a friendly, supportive relationship that will lead to something good taking place for both you and the person you are meeting.

Episode Outline:

Important Points:

  • There is a lot written by many different people about how to “influence” others and often they are teaching ways to manipulate the other person to get the results that YOU want. What happens when you influence a person mainly based on the results that you want is that you usually wind up with what is known as “buyers remorse”.
  • In Seishindo, we don’t believe in gaining rapport with someone as a way to take advantage of another person or to get someone to do something they normally would not do. If you wind up trying to get your counterpart to bend to your will, it is likely that people will consider you to be unethical or unkind.
  • If you really take the time and effort to gain rapport with someone and thus understand them better, it might just wind up changing some of your opinions and the way you act, as you develop an awareness of what the other person wants, what the other person is currently capable of, and what the other person considers important.
  • Another important point about relationships is that sometimes “circumstances” get in the way, regardless of whether or not the other person might otherwise be someone you could easily get along with. So don’t go ahead and assume that something is wrong with you, or you did something wrong, and that is what led to the relationship not working out.
  • For this episode, we are going to assume that you are meeting someone for the first time, and that you have a definite desire to form a good relationship with them, but you are not entering into the relationship with a grand plan in mind. We are talking about meeting someone at a social event or meeting new people at work or meeting a potential new client for the first time. Today we are just going to be talking about what you can do to create a good first meeting and a good first understanding between the both of you.

Steps:

  1. Respect the other person and be open to having a positive experience and enjoying yourself.
  2. Do you best to find a common ground with the person you are engaging with. In other words, while you are talking with the other person, look to find the similarities between your beliefs and opinions rather than dwelling on the possible differences.
  3. Encourage the other person to talk, and ask them questions to keep them going.
  4. Check for your understanding of what was said by re-phrasing or paraphrasing what you think they said.
  5. Adopt the same basic posture and gestures as your counterpart, and nod your head from time to time to show you are understanding them.
  6. Pick up and use some, but not all, of the key words and phrases your counterpart uses.
  7. Match the energy and emotional tone of your counterpart.

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