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  • Does your feedback help people change?
    Does your feedback help people change?
  • Are your conversations achieving what you want?
    Are your conversations achieving what you want?
  • How are you coming across to your boss?
    How are you coming across to your boss?
  • Are you getting the best out of your people?
    Are you getting the best out of your people?
  • Do you frequently get into arguments?
    Do you frequently get into arguments?
  • Can you allow discussion and still keep control?
    Can you allow discussion and still keep control?

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.

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.

Free exploratory coaching session

INTERESTED?

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.

FAQs

You'll find answers to many of your questions about the content and method of this course under FAQs (in the main menu above).

How the skills you'll practise on this course
will enable you to be much more successful
at building rapport 

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?

ANITA: 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.

The two crucial rapport building skills she used were:-

  • 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.

Yet 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.

Is there more information on this website
relevant to building rapport?

Yes. You might also find our pages on customer liaison training, managing conflict and winning friends relevant and helpful.

We love helping you communicate successfully

By giving you communication skills that'll transform even your most challenging relationships and interactions.

That's the purpose of Skills with People, our training course for managers and professional people at all levels. Thousands have benefited from this course.

Video Introduction

What People Have Said About The Course

Feedback from participant's boss - a Johnson & Johnson marketing director

She has become increasingly aware and focussed on ensuring she is gaining cooperation from colleagues by the way she approaches situations. E.g., Meet ...

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Feedback from participant's boss - a Kimberley-Clark marketing director

He is now aware of his need to control his direct approach. He was sometimes too assertive. I think he is now well balanced in this respect.

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Feedback from participant's boss - a Johnson Matthey Catalysts (Germany) senior manager

There has been a noticeable improvement in the performance of this customer service engineer. He is much more succinct now than he was before. He was ...

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Feedback from a participant's boss - a Merck Sharp & Dohme medical director

She feels more confident in tackling people and has been impressed with her new found techniques, e.g., in dealing with members of the marketing depar ...

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Senior Engineer, Qualcomm

An unbelievable experience, highly motivating training and one of the few which stays forever in your mind. A tangible impact to your life and workin ...

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Feedback from participant's boss - a Billiton director

He's obviously making a positive effort and it does show. People used to be scared of him. No longer.

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Golf Club Manager

Ten out of ten for the course for me personally. I think I would have resigned if it hadn't been for the course.

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Sports Centre Manager

I feel that my relationship with other attendees has improved massively following the session. I'd say 9/10 for what I've got from the course as I sa ...

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Feedback from participant's boss - an HSBC investment director

I have had three unprompted comments from different team members and colleagues who have been surprised at the consideration he has shown in helping s ...

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Feedback from participant's boss - a Prudential director

He is a lot more confident. At the last meeting of our business unit leaders he fully led the meeting and dealt with people very well.

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Feedback from participant's boss - a Johnson & Johnson finance director

He has made excellent progress in the management of his team. He has ensured key stakeholders are involved in decision-making and has gone to great le ...

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Feedback from a participant's boss - a Glaxo SmithKline research director

He has made good progress in two areas: 1. team leadership - he listens with empathy to others well and considers their standpoint as well as his own. ...

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Senior Resource Consultant, Shell International

“Skills with People” has helped me deal with conflict situations.  It has helped me to diffuse tension in meetings and convert pushback into alignment ...

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Feedback from a participant's boss - a WS Atkins director

Now he actively listens, probes, asks for clarifications and does not assume anymore he knows the answer.

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Leisure Centre Manager

The most useful part of the course was learning how to convey my disappointment with a member of staff without demotivating them, without making them ...

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Theatre Manager

Managing to confront them but still maintain their cooperation and support. Previously I was either not confronting or confronting and ending up with ...

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Project Quality Engineer (self funding)

A lesson for life! The power of effective communication is incredible when one masters the skills "listen with empathy" / "speak assertively". Defin ...

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Feedback from participant's boss - Chairman of White Clarke Group

He has greatly improved his ability to manage a situation. He listens more and uses that information to convince. A good example is the .... group, wh ...

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Thank you from a participant

I wanted to let you know that I have secured a new role.  I had to go through an assessment centre and one challenge was to negotiate with a 'belliger ...

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National Training Index* report on the course

"From delegates reports we have identified Skills with People is a 'highspot' among UK business courses. Delegates mentioned as most helpful the enha ...

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Learning & Development Coordinator - The Entertainer

I can't recommend this course enough. It has genuinely been the most impactful course I have ever completed. Understanding that I can be assertive w ...

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EHS advisor (environmental health and safety), Johnson Matthey

This is the best non-techincal course the company has ever put me on because it's the most useful. 

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Workshop Manager, Professional Plant Services

I now find it easier to have awkward conversations. (As a result of how he has changed several more people from his company are asking to attend the c ...

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Feedback from participant's boss - A Philips Semiconductors director

To what extend do I think his training need has been satisfied? Completely. I have been approached by 4 peers to tell me that they could see a very po ...

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Feedback from participant's boss - head of projects in Heinz

He now gains support through his willingness to involve people more and take them with him.

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Feedback from a participant's boss - a Shell International senior manager

He is showing far more self-awareness and more restraint in potentially confrontational situations. He is far more aware of the impact his actions and ...

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Fundraising Officer, United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR)

A very intimate training which will make anyone reflect on how best to engage with colleagues when confronted with difficult situations.

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The wife of a participant

"Just thinking about last night’s conversation and it’s bringing tears to my eyes – it’s what I’ve always wanted: to be able to talk with you like tha ...

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Examples of Training Needs Met

Enormous enthusiasm but little sensitivity Read More...
Preparing for a more challenging role Read More...
Allowed his meetings to get out of hand Read More...
Very logical but not creating enough rapport Read More...
Flying high but creating a tense atmosphere Read More...
Forceful communicator who created friction Read More...
Very diligent but hated dealing with difficult people Read More...
Lots of energy and ideas but little attention for his clients Read More...
Technically very sound but lacking persuasive skills Read More...
Being more assertive would help career go better Read More...
Respected specialist who was too quiet at meetings Read More...
Not delegating or developing others Read More...
Had a positive attitude but gave a negative impression Read More...
Well intentioned but demoralising his team Read More...
Difficulty communicating with non-technical people Read More...

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