By Romilla Ready, Kate Burton

Rapport is one of the four pillars of Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP). When someone likes you it’s easier for you to get your message heard and understood, and also for you to influence them. When people like you, they’re more open to being persuaded by you, willing to help you and to want to be around you, whether in a business or personal setting.

Some people find being likeable, charming, and charismatic really easy while others are left wondering how these seemingly innate characteristics passed them by. The good news is that you can learn and hone these personality traits!

It’s no accident that rapport is one of the four pillars of NLP. You can learn to build to rapport and increase your likeability factor, and it starts with being aware of everyone’s favourite radio station, WII FM.

Tuning in to Radio WII FM

Radio WII FM — What’s In It For Me — is the station that people all tune into at a deep unconscious level. You need to tune into your own wavelength. Having an awareness of and ability to focus on your own emotional and physical needs without being self-centred or narcissistic allows you to maintain a healthy self-image and be comfortable in your own skin.

When you know your limits and boundaries, you’re able to give help and care freely and open-heartedly. People will tune in in droves to hear you, giving you a larger reach to a more receptive audience.

Employing the ‘You Focus’

All great communicators and influencers employ the ‘You Focus’ principle, whether at a conscious or subconscious level. As the novelist Maya Angelou said, ‘I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.’

It’s as easy to make someone feel bad as it is to make him feel good. If you permit your bad mood to colour an interaction or are rude and uncaring, people may excuse you once or twice but you may find yourself increasingly isolated.

You want people to feel good in your company and one way to do so is to make them feel that they matter and that you’re genuinely interested in them. You can demonstrate interest by paying attention to what they say, making eye contact, asking questions, showing that you hear and understand them and allowing space before responding so they know you’re thinking about what they said.

It’s often said that ‘people like people like themselves’, thus on the face of it you can increase your likeability factor by being more like the person or people you want to be liked by. To do so you need to understand ‘how’ they think and modify your body and verbal language to match their style.

NLP shows you that some of the most unconscious filters, such as values and meta programs, can have the greatest positive or negative impact on a relationship.

Understanding why you want to be liked is also useful. You’ll have greater success if your motivation is genuinely wanting to help others rather than manipulating them or feeding your own ego.