An introduction to the art of rapport


Podcast_Life_ToolsIn today’s podcast and newsletter I talk and write about how to gain rapport with a wide range of people.

When we truly gain rapport with another person we “bond” with them. We establish a relationship based on shared feelings, interests, or experiences, and in Seishindo we believe that bonding with other individuals is a crucial element in being emotionally healthy and feeling a sense of belonging in the world.

Please scroll down to the “Musings” section of this newsletter to read what I have to share concerning rapport, and also be sure to have a listen to our podcast.

If you go to the podcast on the site, you can see an outline of the key points of today’s podcast. Some people like to read the outline before listening as it gives them a clearer roadmap to follow.

When you are ready, have a listen to today’s podcast and hopefully it will lead you to better learn from your past.

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Newsletter_rockWhen you truly have rapport with another person, you are engaged in a relationship of mutual understanding, agreement, and trust. To me, nothing could be finer!

It is wonderful to be with someone who looks to communicate in a collaborative manner, someone who strives to understand rather than to critique. And I am guessing that most everyone I meet feels the same.

One point I find of great importance when considering forming a good relationship with someone is that you first need to have a good relationship with yourself.

In order to honestly and collaboratively communicate your thoughts and feelings to another person, you will first need to be appreciating and accepting yourself. Being open and receptive to what others have to say begins by being open and receptive to yourself. What I have found over time is that the more a person has negative thoughts about themselves, the more they will tend to be judgmental of others. When you are in a respectful, positively-oriented relationship with yourself, you will be that much more open to the opinions, beliefs, and frailties of another person.

I will admit that I find it important to watch over my tendency to be judgmental. Living in Japan for so long has really given me a great opportunity to be mindful about this. I think it is rather common for Japanese people to judge foreigners concerning some of their “crude” habits, and I also find that myself and other “gaijin” can easily get into complaining and judging Japanese people. Many folks are often just not comfortable with the differences they experience in others.

For me, one significant thing to note when making a relationship with a new person is this: I don’t need to genuinely enjoy being with another person in order to make a good relationship with them. What I need to be able to do is respect the other person and find some appreciation for their point of view. I have learned over time that if I have a difficult time appreciating another person, it says more about me than it does about the them. Sometimes my judgmental nature gets in the way!

I think that, from time to time, we all wind up meeting someone who seems to have a professional level of skill when it comes to annoying and offending others. When I meet such a person, I do my best to understand that the person is likely frightened and thus wanting to keep others at bay. I believe such people exhibit annoying, offensive behavior in spite of themselves. They don’t truly want to be separate from others but being separate seems to create a sense of safety for them. Or better to say a false sense of safety.

So when a person acts in way that leads you to feel offended or upset, first check to see if perhaps you are feeling a bit oversensitive and judgmental and if you feel this is not the case… you will do well to appreciatively consider what the other person might be afraid of or insecure about, and what kind of relationship they would have with you if they felt safe to express their inner feelings. As the Beatles used to say, “Love is the answer and you know that for sure. Love is a flower you got to let it grow.”

In my mind, a life devoid of respectful, loving relationships would be a life not truly worth living. And thank goodness I can’t even really imagine how that could ever happen. Playfully, I like to sometimes say that my desire to have good relationships with others is really a selfish act on my part, because I gain so much by having good relationships!

In Seishindo, we understand that a good deal of what goes into making rapport with another person has to do with the somatic connection you make with the other person. And when I say somatic connection I mean moving, breathing, talking, and adopting a posture that allows both you and the other person to feel safe and invited to share feelings with each other. And making a somatic connection with someone is the main focus of today’s podcast. Tony and I talk about how to use our mammalian consciousness to bond with others.

So when you are ready, please have a listen. And remember, if you go to the site you can read a synopsis of the podcast.

In Community,

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