BUILD RAPPORT NOT RETREAT

Training invariably involves you needing to build rapport with your audience. Going in and talking non-stop at them is only going to lead to disappointment all round, and no doubt the beginnings of a lynch mob by lunchtime. 

Building rapport with people can be an automatic inbuilt mechanism for some, but for others it is something that can be worked on and improved, if you have some tips on how to do that - so here are some verbal tools for Quick Rapport Building:

* Common ground - using your Green & Red cards, or some activity to gauge your audience, find some common ground or 'Universals' as we call them, and build on that. Common ground is beautiful in establishing OTHER threads that can link you, through conversation, with further Universals to cement your connection.

* When asking someone for their opinion or suggestion on a topic, give them credit for it, before moving on to elaborate or build on their response. It is just as easy to build someone's confidence, as it is to tear it down, and you are looking to build rapport through positive expression.

* Match your verbals with their language - be it tonal, volume, superlatives, industry-based. Establish that you are 'one of them' through speech.  If they like the word 'awesome', then so do you!  It's an awesome word ...

* Don't disagree with ideas - find a way to extend them. Connect and grow and build that sense of 'team'.

* Change your approach from using "i" and "you" words, to including "we" and "us" in your dialogue.

* Show interest in their world. Don't probe or be too pushy and put them on the spot so they are uncomfortable. Gentle conversation will soon yield many chances to connect with them and build good rapport.

* Match your modalities with theirs. If someone is clearly visual, say things like, "I see what you mean..."If they are Kinesthetic or Tactile you could respond with "yes, that feels right". "That sounds good." For auditories. Train them with their learning styles, and speak to them with their learning styles in mind..

* If they are sitting - join them. If they are standing, stand with them, though in a loose stance, not an aggressive, dominating one. Match their level.  

With children it is best to hunker down so you are face to face and eye level. Bending down to them continues the feeling of domination - hunkering down to their level gives them a more comfortable feeling of acceptance, openness and consideration for their communication. This is best undertaken, though, when you have strong thighs to get back up again !