What is rapport?
Rapport is one of the most important features or characteristics of unconscious human interaction.
It can be described as a state of mutual trust and responsiveness between individuals or groups of people.
Other descriptions of rapport include being in synch, being on the same wavelength and commonality of perspective.
In inter-personal communication the prior establishment of a good rapport can mean the difference between a successful, productive communication and an unsuccessful, non-productive interaction.
We can use rapport in inter-personal communication to encourage the person we are communicating with to relax, to feel a sense of familiarity and comfort in their interaction with us and to lower the barriers of resistance and become more receptive to our communication.
Establishing a good rapport is also instrumental to the successful use of the majority of the techniques within Neuro Linguistic Programming.
In order for many of the the techniques to be used with maximum effectiveness the person on the receiving end may need to suspend or change their beliefs, see things from different perspectives or even experience a complete paradigm shift in their perceptions of the world.
For some people, processes which force them to step outside of their comfort zone by vigorously shaking their model of the world will be immediately perceived as positive, interesting and even exciting. Others may find the experience confusing or even a little scary. Still others will experience a whole gamut of mental, physical and emotional responses. All of these responses are normal.
By establishing good rapport at the outset we can gain commitment from the other party, conscious or unconscious, to trust the process even when they do not fully understand how the process works and what the ultimate outcome will be.