Personal connection is important; as humans, we’ve been hard-wired to crave connection – and the feeling of being connected. In fact, polls show that a number one complaint of people of all age ranges is loneliness or the sense of disconnection.
Chances are you’ve felt disconnected at times and desired deeper and more meaningful relationships. It can be quite easy to get caught up in our fast-paced, high tech world and forget about taking time to really “connect” with others.
Cultivating Better Relationships
Personal connections matter – at work, in the community, and at home. Now, when you’re in a career such as real estate investing, you’re going to be dealing with a lot of people. You’re going to have ample opportunity to make connections.
So how can you become better connecting with them? How can you help them feel less disconnected and more connected?
By learning how to use a helpful tool called rapport.
What is Rapport?
Rapport is a term used to describe a feeling of closeness or commonality with another person. It’s essentially a “connection.” When you’re building rapport with someone, you’re making a connection with them based on feelings of having something in common.
Don’t you feel closer to someone when you feel like you have something in common with them? Don’t you feel more at ease? Willing to engage?
See, rapport is a tool that is necessary and advantageous when you’re working on building relationships with others, and it’s not all based on words either. Sure, we do need to connect with our words, asking genuine questions about those that we meet. But research says that when it comes to making meaningful connections with others, words only account for 7 percent. The rest is nonverbal communication.
Using Nonverbal Communication
Think of your reflection when you look at yourself in the mirror. You look at this shiny piece of glass and YOU are reflected back. Now just as that mirror reflects you, you can build rapport by reflecting back to those you meet nonverbal cues that will unconsciously cause them to feel more connected to you!
Meet them where they are. If they’re excited, be just as excited. If they’re low key, tone it down a few notches. If they’ve got a firm handshake, grip tightly and shake away. If they want to give you a friendly hug, hug them like you mean it.
Observe them and match them where they are. Sure, they want you to talk with them; engage with them with words, but they’ll also be responding to nonverbal cues. How’s their personal space? Can you sense their boundaries and match them there? Are they crossing their legs? Cross yours. Tapping their foot? Tap yours. If the talk a mile a minute, speed up your words.
Why bother to do this?
Because at the subconscious level, they’ll notice and you know what?
They’ll just like you more. They’ll feel like they have more in common with you and as you’ve already learned, this is what they desire. They want to feel seen, heard, and connected, and you have the means to make that happen.
Science Backs This Up
If you think this is hit and miss, think again. Science backs this up, and there are plenty of influences (like politicians) who use such nonverbal rapport building skills to gain the approval of groups of people. Words are important, but more so is nonverbal communication.
So, the next time you’re out meeting a client or nurturing a friendship, remember that you’re a mirror, reflecting back nonverbal cues. And, just watch how your social interactions and connections improve!