Might your need to be more successful at building rapport be met by this management training course called Skills with People?
Yes if the following are true
- You're don't think you're as successful as you want to be at winning people's trust and cooperation.
- So you'd like to get honest feedback from people about how they feel when they're working with you.
- You've never paid much attention to the art of building rapport with people at work, but it could have an impact on your career, and therefore you're ready to start paying attention to it now.
- You particularly want to be good at building rapport with people you disagree with, because when there's a disagreement you've a tendency to get into argument and conflict.
Video - An introduction to our training course on building rapport (6:32 minutes)
What you'll take away from this course on building rapport
You'll have the understanding, skills and confidence to create harmony and rapport instead of misunderstanding and conflict. Some people call these rapport-building skills 'soft' skills, though we think this is a misnomer because they actually make it much harder for people to resist your influence and say no to you. These 'soft' skills actually make you tougher and yet more satisfying to deal with.
The two skills that are crucial for building rapport
People are difficult to handle when their negative emotions are aroused. If you don’t know how to handle emotion you're likely to lose rapport. Trust deteriorates. Misunderstandings arise. Relationships get damaged. In this atmosphere it is very hard to achieve what you want. The key regaining rapport is emotional intelligence, which boils down to mastering two crucial skills, empathy and assertiveness. Helping you master these two skills is our main objective on the Skills with People course.
To illustrate the two rapport-building skills here are two examples of a brief phone conversation. The first is without the two crucial skills. The second is with them. The comparison shows how much more honest and yet harmonious and successful these skills enable you to be in building rapport and creating affinity.
First example - a conversation WITHOUT the two crucial skills
Anita is phoning Steve because she urgently needs his help. Steve is normally cooperative, but right now he is in the middle of a crisis. As you read the dialogue try to sense how successful Anita was being at building rapport:-
ANITA: Good morning, Steve. Anita here.
STEVE: Good morning, Anita. What can I do for you?
ANITA: That information I asked you for last week – how’s it coming along?
STEVE: Sorry. Haven’t had a moment to think about it. I’ll get on to it as soon as I can.
ANITA: You said I could have it this week.
STEVE: I know, but there’s a bit of a crisis on here.
ANITA: When will I be able to have it?
STEVE: Hard to say.
ANITA: Can’t you give me a date?
STEVE: Afraid not. You’ll just have to leave it with me. I’ll get on to it as soon as I can, okay?
A comment on the first example
Anita's aware she's just failed to build rapport with Steve. She's aware that as a result of this conversation their relationship is even more distant than it was before. She's also aware of feelings beneath the surface of the conversation, but she's held back by an old mental habit, a belief she has held deep down for as long as she can remember: “My feelings are not to be trusted. I must hide them or people won’t like me.” As a result she keeps her distance and fails to build rapport with Steve.
But suppose she could replace that belief with this one: “I can trust my feelings because they alert me when something's wrong, and if I express them honestly others will take me seriously.”
Second example - the same conversation, but this time WITH the two crucial skills
Below is the conversation again. This time she uses the rapport-building skills taught on this course. Once again, as you read the dialogue try to sense how successful she is being in building rapport:-
ANITA: Good morning, Steve. Anita here.
STEVE: Good morning, Anita. What can I do for you?
ANITA (lets him know she's aware he's under pressure and how she feels about chasing him; is also frank about her own urgent need): Steve, I know you’re under pressure so I feel bad about chasing you. But I’m very worried. If I don’t get the information you promised me last week I’ll miss a crucial deadline.
STEVE (takes her seriously because she's being open and frank about how she feels; and it doesn't even occur to him to shut the door on her because she's also taking his problems seriously; he feels he can be frank with her, too): Sorry, Anita. This is a bad timing, I’m afraid. I’m in the middle of a crisis. I was hoping the information you needed wasn’t urgent.
ANITA (once being open and frank she says why her need is so urgent): Now I’m even more worried. If I miss this deadline we could lose a major customer.
STEVE (realises that whatever difficulties he faces, even more trouble will be caused if he fails to cooperate; starts thinking about how he can make time to do it): Hmm, I see.
ANITA (can hear he's thinking, so waits patiently and encourages him time to let off steam): I’m obviously giving you a headache.
STEVE (sighs): I’ll have to explain to my director why he’ll have to wait. He’s not going to like it.
ANITA (continues being patient and honest): I wish I didn’t have to put you under pressure. Is there any way I can help?
STEVE (lets out another big sigh; has by now adjusted to doing something he was at first reluctant to do): No, it’s okay Anita. I guess it’s not the end of the world. I’ll get on to it right away.
ANITA (once again genuine and honest): I’m relieved. Thank you, Steve.
A comment on the second example
This time, instead of ending up afraid and suspicious of one-another they ended up with more mutual respect, understanding and trust. Anita had been much more successful in building rapport.
How did she achieve this? The simple answer is that she found a way of talking about her own and Steve’s feelings, and that enabled them to connect with one-another and resolve their difficulty rationally and harmoniously.
What are the two crucial rapport building skills?
- recognising, respecting and acknowledging his feelings and needs – this is what we're calling empathy,
- honestly admitting her own feelings and needs – this is what we're calling assertiveness.
Poor ability to create rapport is a handicap both in life and at work. This course gives you the two crucial skills you need for creating or building rapport. We help you examine what you say and the way you say it, the extent to which it builds or detracts from your rapport with others, and what changes you could make that would increase your rapport. Then we help you practise until you're confident you succeed in building rapport. The course includes a great deal of private and confidential one-to-one coaching.
More reasons why you might benefit from this training in how to create rapport
- I've never paid much attention to the quality of my relationships with people at work. I just get on with the job and assume the relationship will take care of itself.
- I've never made a special effort to build better rapport with people at work. I've always assumed that if people don't want to cooperate with me it's up to them and there's not much I can do about it.
- My way of building rapport is to have a laugh with people. It usually seems to work well. I don't know any other way.
- If someone doesn't want to cooperate with me, I'm stuck. I don't know how to change their mind and create more affinity and good will when it seems to be missing.
- I'm nervous about being over-familiar.
- People have told me I come across as arrogant. It's not true because I don't feel I'm superior to anyone, but I'd like to understand how they've got that impression.
- I don't know how to build or maintain a harmonious relationship when I have a disagreement of conflict with someone.
- I'm a different person at work from the one I am outside work. I don't believe I can really be myself at work.
- I'd like to know how to repair relationships when they break down, and how to create a more friendly, harmonious and cooperative atmosphere.
Interested? Arrange a FREE exploratory coaching session
If so, you can have a FREE exploratory coaching session. It'll give you a foretaste of what you can get from the course. You make no commitment to proceed beyond this until you're sure this training is relevant to your own particular need.
How to accept this offer
Simply contact us for a preliminary chat and to arrange your free exploratory coaching session.
What this session will do for you
In this session we'll aim to give you something practical you can use right away that'll help you handle a difficult situation more successfully at work. All you need do to prepare for this session is think about the kinds of situations you want to be able to handle more successfully.
You'll find answers to many of your questions about the content and method of this course under FAQs (in the main menu above).
Price, dates and location of our upcoming public courses
For details of our upcoming public courses see course dates.