People - Top Tips - Building Rapport

Building rapport

This document is designed as a quick reference guide to building rapport

This will enable you to gain knowledge of a particular skill, task or process.

This means you can quickly find the key information that you need and refer to it on an ongoing basis whenever you need to refresh your knowledge.



What is rapport, and why is it important?

Rapport is one of the most important features of unconscious human interaction. It is being in 'sync', being on the same wavelength as the person you are talking to.

Effective communication is a critical skill in our business, and being in rapport with someone is the most effective way of having good communication.

People - Top Tips - Building Rapport

What you need to know


Look at the diagram above. It’s a ‘map’ of how two people might communicate. Let’s look briefly at each of the states and say what each might look like.

People - Top Tips - Building Rapport

Building rapport

Ritual / Cliché

This is where two strangers would begin. They might shake hands and the first might say something like “Hi, how are you?” They’d get the reply “I’m fine, how are you?” It’s a ritual. It’s cliché. Even as two people aren’t strangers, we might begin here. Imagine running into an acquaintance in a supermarket checkout queue. “Oh hi, I haven’t seen you in ages. How’s the family?” Ritual and cliché isn’t a ‘bad’ place. It’s just where we begin. But unless we rise above this state we’ll never get past the “Hi, how’ve you been” conversations.


Facts and Information

This is where a lot of our ‘day to day’ interactions with people often sit. We know each other. We work together. We need to exchange facts and information to get the job done e.g. providing a colleague with information about a customer delivery or where they can find boxed stock of a product.


Even many interactions with customers sit here.

“This Driver has a stiff shaft”

“We have this Golf bag in three colours”

This is a better place to be than ritual and cliché. We can start to have useful conversations here. But if we can rise further, we can do better still.


Feelings and emotions

This is where two people start to ‘open up’ to one another and we start to discover how we feel. Notice the two arrows to the sides of the diagram – Risk and Trust. As we rise up this model, we are beginning to trust the other person. If we didn’t trust them, we wouldn’t be prepared to share our feelings.