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March 18, 2018

The Value of Rapport at Work

Rapport is the ability to get along with others in a way that makes them want to work with you. It is built upon mutual trust, empathy, and respect and contributes to a positive, productive workplace. When you have rapport with others, you gain a wealth of resources for career advancement, mentoring, and problem solving, among many other benefits. Here are five tips to help you build rapport.

  1. Be consistent. This means that you walk your talk—your words and actions are in sync. People can rely on you to be responsible and accountable.
  2. Show genuine interest in and respect for others. Treat everyone as an individual with unique interests, preferences, concerns, and expectations. Avoid stereotyping and judgements. Accept people for who they are and where they are in life. (Check out my program Bridging the Generation Gap for help understanding generational differences.)
  3. Share your story. Rapport is built on mutual interactions. It is important for you to share information about yourself and your life so that others see you as an individual and can relate to you on a personal level.
  4. Honor boundaries and business etiquette. Be considerate of others and show courtesy even when your patience is strained. It doesn’t take effort to ask with a “please” and accept with a “thank you.”
  5. Actively listen and be present. Active listening means paying attention to the other person and not being distracted. Practice being mindful by focusing on the words you hear, by observing body language, and using your own body language to show attentiveness.

Rapport is a skill that can be developed. For more information see my blog posts Why Empathy at Work Works, Shhh! Listen, and Building Effective Relationships at Work.

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