A little respect goes a long way. In business, there is no exception to this rule: in fact, this piece of advice is extra important while conducting business. Building good rapport with others – or, building relationships that are based on mutual respect and trust – is one of the most consistent and foolproof strategies for success.
Although “building rapport” is often associated with the sales industry (in that sales professionals work to build good rapport with customers and clients), it is actually applicable to your relationships with any contact, no matter what profession or industry. Building good rapport is a key element of any relationship, whether with a close colleague or boss you speak to every day, or with a vendor or off-site contact you speak to once a month.
Rapport does not need to be a close connection or relationship; it simply means that others see you in a positive light. What are the benefits of establishing good rapport, and how can you work to develop good rapport with those around you?
The Benefits of Building Good Rapport
- Most importantly, once you establish good rapport with someone, he or she will trust you and respect you. There is no price to buy trust and respect; these qualities can only be developed over time.
- Others will be willing to help you out if and when you need it. If you treat others rudely, you will have few contacts to rely on when you suddenly need a favour. Good rapport acts as a safety net in times of need.
- When you have good rapport with others, they may recommend you to another professional or company. People talk, and you never know what they might say or who might hear about you! Building good rapport all comes back to protecting and enhancing your reputation, a vital element of Executive Presence.
How Can You Develop Good Rapport?
- Do not view others through a lens of hierarchy. Speak to everyone and treat everyone with the same respect that you would show the CEO of your company.
- Draw upon your Executive Presence to demonstrate grace under fire. In most cases, people are not consistently disrespectful but can be provoked by certain stressful situations. As stress and pressure can bring out the worst in some people, practice keeping calm and collected so that this does not happen to you.
- Listen to others. Even if you are leading or instructing, make sure that everyone is on board and that others’ voices are heard. When one person dominates a conversation, this does not lead to a professional relationship or good rapport – it’s a monologue.
Good rapport is applicable and important in our professional and personal lives. How do you build good rapport, and how has it helped you?