Building Rapport, Establishing Connections

Rapport is magic. If you have something you want to achieve, or something you want to learn or experience, a person out there has the thing you need in order to make it. But, they’re not going to provide you what you need or want just like that. You need first to give them what they need or want, and you don’t even know those until you first get in a connection of rapport.

What is a Connection of Rapport?

Rapport means complete responsiveness between people. When a person is completely responding to you, and you’re entirely responding back, there’s that connection – the trigger that comes about in specific relationships or communications.

Every person wants to build rapport, but most of them only develop that with people who are like whom themselves. If not, they lose it, which means we’ve got a tiny world and we want to take it to a higher level.

If someone told you to go out to a street, meet somebody, and develop a rapport with them, how would you do it?

Will you engage in a conversation with them by asking a few what-questions and then boom rapport!? Is this possible? Of course not! Questions don’t build rapport. They are only tools used to dig for something. What are you digging for when asking questions? You’re trying to form rapport by what?

A Sense of Commonality Forms Rapport

We, people, feel like we have something in common with somebody, something like a spark. But here’s the problem – if rapport is formed by a sense of commonality, most people try to develop rapport through using words.

But what fraction of our communication skills are words? Only seven percent! This means that we’re separating more than ninety percent of our abilities. Words don’t always work, what will?

There are two secrets to building an effective rapport that will always work. These secrets are mirroring and matching.

Mirroring and Matching: Secrets to Building Effective Rapport

Matching and mirroring came about more than 40 years ago. Dr. Milton Erickson was a genius, a medical doctor, a psychologist, and a hypnotherapist. People come to see him trying to change everything that doesn’t work in their life.

These people would see him for one sitting, and he’d handle it well. Why is that? Because he understood something. He understood that people have both a conscious mind and subconscious mind and that the latter being more powerful. He knew that if he could have the power in the subconscious mind, he could change anything.

So that’s what he did. He spent a vast expanse of time studying people, and he began to notice something. When human beings start creating a rapport, they become like each other in various ways. He called this occurrence mirroring each other.

Most people use the terms mirroring and matching interchangeably. One primary difference between them is timing, which at times termed pacing.

For instance, try to go out to have some fun. Look for somebody who’s in front of you or on an angle to you. Don’t even look at him; mirror them for 5-10 minutes. If they reach for the glass, you reach for a glass. They drink on it, sip on it too. After those minutes, reach for your glass to drink and watch what they do. They’ll reach for it like that. It’s called matching or pacing and leading.

People Like People Who are Like Themselves

We all mirror and match naturally. We can see a rapport starts when people finally sit down and start leaning in the same direction. The tone and tempo of their voice will begin to mirror when they’re on rapport. If they’re out of it, you’ll see them relate contraries of this nature.

Mirroring is so easy, but there’s a problem. Most people wait until they have enough words in common. Again, words are only seven percent, and they don’t work all the time. Mirroring actions can include breathing, facial expressions, hand gestures, body posture, movement of feet, eye movements, and weight shifts. It is copying the behaviors of the other subtly.

What else could you mirror in the body?


Posture is very influential. If the other person’s upright, you become upright. If they’re more relaxed, you’re comfortable too. Just like that.


Breathing is also powerful. If you breathe at the exact matching pace as the other, you’ll feel what they’re feeling. Breathing is lovely because it links you, totally feeling connected as one.

Eye Contact

Many people say that if you’re going to influence someone truly, you must look directly into their eyes while not breaking eye contact for a long time. But that’s a total lie; there’s a problem with that. The problem is that people like people who are like themselves. We cannot force a person to have that connection to someone when they actually don’t.

Facial Expressions

If someone’s telling you a story and they’re really into it as they make these weird faces, do you sit and look at them as if you’re a boring person? No, you look back and create the same stupid look back. There, a connection!


When a person is talking, and they’re sharing important ideas, people have distinctive gestures – gestures that are all their own. So if you’re talking with this gal while she makes this funny minute gesture, and you turn back looking at her while making that same little motion, you’d be like “oh, a friend!”


What does this mean? Proximity means a certain amount of space that people need to become comfortable, and it’s different for every single person. Have you noticed that when you get too close on a person’s face or any sensitive parts, there will always be that initial reaction? A person may not only pull back; he would snap to the side. Most people have a force field. When you get closer to that field, they’ll turn sideways since it creates a feeling of space.


You don’t have to mirror everything someone does to create rapport. It’s not as if when they lift their head, you also raise your head; they lean backward, you bend back too. You don’t have to do that. Developing rapport is an indispensable part of every relationship.

Rapport isn’t just an instrument for building relationships, though; it is usually the foundation of triumph. When you have this with someone, you’re better placed on learning, teaching, and influence. The conviction that you’ve built up means other people are more likely to take your ideas, share information, and generate opportunities together.