“You want to work with people who you like and have an easy rapport with.” —Mike White
By Elizabeth Stincelli, DM
Rapport helps us build close relationships in which we can work together and communicate with ease. In these relationships we empathize with each other and find commonalities that bring us even closer together. Rapport helps us to feel safe to share our dreams and fears. If rapport provides the foundation necessary for successful collaboration and mutual support, where should you start?
Richard Bach said, “I want to be very close to someone I respect and admire and have somebody who feels the same way about me.” Rapport is about relationships and relationships are about give and take, mutual respect, and trust. When we develop respect and trust we feel safe. This safety allows us to open up, collaborate, and share new ideas. When we know we can count on someone to give as much as they take, we feel comfortable being there for them and turning to them in our times of need.
Mohsin Hamid explained, “Empathy is about finding echoes of another person in yourself.” You cannot develop a meaningful connection with another person without empathy. Empathy allows us to understand what it feels like to walk in the shoes of another. It helps to create a supportive and safe environment where there is genuine concern for one another. This genuine concern leads us to act, not just in our own best interest, but the interest of others as well.
Barbara Deming believed, “The longer we listen to one another – with real attention – the more commonality we will find in all our lives. That is, if we are careful to exchange with one another life stories and not simply opinions.” Finding commonality strengthens the relationships we build and the empathy we feel. When we ask questions and then really listen, we learn more about others, and the more common ground we will find. It’s easier to develop a close connection and strong relationship with those whom we feel we have thoughts, ideas, and experiences in common.
When we build rapport, we improve our ability to develop meaningful relationships where communication and collaboration can thrive. Strong relationships built on trust and respect, empathy, and commonality contribute to developing the rapport that allows us to feel safe to share our hopes and dreams, as well as our deepest fears.
© 2015 Elizabeth Stincelli
Elizabeth Stincelli is passionate about recognizing and inspiring the leader in each of us. She is the CEO of Stincelli Advisors where she focuses on helping organizations engage employees and improve organizational culture. Elizabeth holds a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership.
Learn more about Elizabeth by visiting her website, stincelliadvisors.com and connect with her on Twitter @infinitestin, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can contact her by email at email@example.com.