Demonstrating Respect and Establishing Rapport with Your Communication

Part of the Communication Skills For Dummies Cheat Sheet (UK Edition)

To communicate effectively with others, you must respect them as individuals and want to establish understanding between yourselves. Although you don’t have to agree with their beliefs, and you don’t have to accept what they say as true, you do have to accept their right to their thoughts, feelings and values.

One way of establishing rapport with others is to match their gestures and energy patterns. This means that your gestures become similar to the other person’s, but not to the point that you produce exact copies of their movements and expressions.

Observe how the other person breathes and moves and adapt your pattern to match theirs. For example, if the other person moves quickly and you tend to move more slowly, you’re movements are at odds and can negatively affect your engagement. Change your pattern to match the other person’s by speeding up or slowing down until you both are comfortable with one another.

Once you’ve established trust between yourselves, you can revert to your preferred pattern and revel in your delight as the other person follows along with you.

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