rapportFor those of you who are in a leadership role or particularly a change leadership role, I found a useful article for you in Psychology Today titled “How to build a rapport: a powerful technique.” This article includes some good tips particularly if you are trying to build consensus around a change that makes people uncomfortable. The author describes a technique called “match and mirror,” which will enable anyone to develop a good rapport with someone else. Having a good rapport with colleagues, clients, friends and loved ones is a great way to develop and maintain healthy relationships. Matching and mirroring is about being in tune with the other person and adopting his or her mannerisms in order to develop rapport. It is not mimicry. The author offered up some helpful suggestions on just how to match and mirror. He suggested observing the person’s posture. Is he or she hunched over? Or sitting up straight? Once you determine their posture do the same. Next observe and match their energy level and tone of voice. Is the person loud and talkative? Are they using hand gestures? Or are they more reserved and quiet? Matching and mirroring is a powerful technique, one that I have used, although not as often or as well as I care to admit. I am a fairly high-energy, fast-talking, external processor (I tend to think things through out loud), as a result I’m routinely asked to slow down. Not too long ago, we were working with someone who was much more of a methodical, slow talking, internal processor (someone who thinks things through before speaking). I found that I was always interrupting him and trying to speed up the discussion. I was basically imposing my external processing communication style on him, which was damaging our relationship. Fortunately, I realized my mistake fairly quickly and forced myself to switch to internal processing mode to match his speed and tone of voice. It drove me crazy at first to shut up and slow down, but it was worth it because we soon became great colleagues and friends. To successfully use the match and mirror techniques there are a few requirements. First, you must be self-aware of your own processing methodology so you know and understand your natural communication style. Are you an internal processor? Or an external processor? You also need to be present with the other person so that you can sense and see their processing style. Finally, you must be flexible enough to adapt your style to the other person’s style. All of this requires some serious work and a good amount of humility. Try to think about how you communicate. What keeps you from being present? Open yourself up to the possibility that you should be the one adapting rather than requiring others to adapt to you. Not only is the match and mirror technique great for the office, it is good advice for just being human. It’s a powerful technique and will enable you to get along with your spouse, children and loved ones. So go ahead give it a try, you might be surprised at how much your relationships inside and outside the office will improve.]]>

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