How to gain rapport with others by starting with yourself


Life ToolsWhen we bond with another person we establish a relationship with them 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. And perhaps what is most interesting and important is that when wanting to create rapport with someone else, you need to start out by creating rapport with yourself first. You need to feel comfortable in your own skin, in your own shoes. And the way you do that is to begin by calming yourself and becoming receptive to everything taking place in and around you.

Episode Outline:

Important Points:

  • When you have rapport with someone, you are engaged in a relationship of mutual understanding, agreement, and trust.
  • Rapport is a two way street – you can’t have rapport with someone if they are not feeling a sense of rapport with you.
  • In order to be able to communicate your thoughts and feelings to another person and have them hear you in an accepting manner, you will need to first establish an emotional bond with them, otherwise they will not be open to listening to you. And this holds true in the other direction as well.
  • You don’t need to genuinely like someone in order to gain rapport with them, but you do need to respect the other person and find some appreciation for their point of view.
  • 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. By somatic connection, we 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.


  1. Breathe in an expansive manner, and give your primary attention to maintaining expansive breathing as this will help you to stay calm and aware.
  2. Adopt a posture that will seem inviting and non-confrontational to your counterpart, and be aware of your facial expressions and gestures.
  3. Nod your head yes from time to time, as a sign that you are taking in what they are saying, and that you are not looking to differ with them.
  4. When it your turn to speak, speak somewhat slowly, and in a calm friendly voice.
  5. Slow down the interval between hearing what was said, and inhale before responding.
  6. Begin your conversation having a clear intent of wanting to understand the underlying beliefs and emotions that are important to your counterpart.
  7. Check to see if you are understanding the other person, by paraphrasing what they just said, and asking questions. Sometimes this is called reflective listening.


Let us know your thoughts...