One of the most important soft skills to learn, regardless of whether you are an employee, manager or a job seeker finding jobs in Singapore, is to learn how to establish rapport quickly with people. With people that you’ve never met, for example, during a job interview or making important calls in an IT sales job, building instant rapport can be your key to success. Here are 10 ways to quickly build relationships in any situation:
1. Be Punctual
Being on time demonstrates your respect for the time of people and subconsciously, it shows that you honour your commitments and can be trusted. The opposite is true when you are late, and may have missed a chance at building a valued relationship quickly.
2. Show genuine interest
Before anyone else can be interested in you, you have to show that you care about them and keep your focus on them. People generally want to talk about things that affect them first, so start conversations by asking questions that show a genuine interest in their needs. It may be counterintuitive to start a relationship by listening first; however, a good, non-threatening listener will always win rapport more easily than a chatty individual anytime.
3. Courtesy always wins
Showing respect via courtesy is shown to be the best rapport-building tool – even serious research has been done on it. So you best bet to use while establishing relationships is to say “please.”
4. Repeat and remember names
If you have fond memories of being called by name by a particularly attentive waiter/waitress or colleague, you would understand its effect – it makes you feel important. However, repeating names one too many times can feel offensive as it is a dead giveaway of being ‘handled’ or being intimidated.
5. Adopt similar phrases and stances
What are the favourite words, phrases and manner of speaking that the other person uses? Pick them up and subtly introduce them into your own conversation with the other person. Does the person like to transfer small chunks of information at a time? Feed similar-sized information packets back to him/her as you speak. Mirror their postures and even their gestures when you speak to them – not only do you show that you are identifying with them, they will also feel more relaxed. Once you have got into good rapport, you can slowly change the pace of conversation so that the remaining conversation can be done at your pace.
6. Honesty, the best policy
While the truth may not be palatable to some, it is not as much as a rapport breaker as overpromising something and downplaying concerns and objections.
7. Humour, the next best bet
There’s nothing better than laughter to bring down the invisible walls between two or more people. It is also a tried-and-tested tension diffuser: a well-timed joke will have everyone laughing together with it, relaxing the atmosphere.
8. Serve sincere compliments
Like bees to honey, people are naturally drawn to a person who speaks positively of others. However, judging the right time to dish out compliments is an important step to convey them with authenticity. If the other person feels that you’re not sincere, the relationship can become strained as a result.
9. Find common ground
It is easier to relate to someone who has things in common with you – same language, same school or even knowing a common person. If you have something in common with the other person, don’t be shy to point it out.
10. Captivate with stories
Fascinating people are attractive as everyone loves an interesting story that they can relate to. Not only does it reveal the human side of you, people feel more comfortable with someone who isn’t afraid of showing their personal side. Once rapport and attention has been firmly established, move on with the relationship and avoid long and irrelevant story-telling.
Building rapport with others is often undervalued by many but with conscious and regular practice, these techniques will start to become easier and more natural, and its effects will start to enhance your life. Start by using the above ten tips to improve your working relationships and build effective habits for your success!
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