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Building Rapport Techniques...

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Introduction to rapport

Discover what rapport is and what benefits you gain from establishing it...

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A free tutorial on how to build rapport and mantain it alive...

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This free tutorial on rapport and neurolinguistic programming ( NLP ) is a complete lesson on the basic skills for achieving maximum persuasion and/or seduction.

 

NLP boosts the power of rapport building techniques, allowing you to gain total leadership in any situation.

 

Are you experiencing relationship problems? Facing difficulties in conquering beautiful women? Well, now you are about to learn the key to solving all your relationship problems with a powerful set of communicational tools!

 

Rapport And The Art of Clear Communication

We will see how people process information and make sense out of things. In order to get people to understand what you mean, you first need to understand how they understand, or at least how they try to understand. When you understand how other people process information, you can organise your communication in a way that fits their modes of perception. We’ve still going to be talking about pacing (and leading), but we’ll be dealing mainly with less visible behaviour, that which goes on inside other people. In the latter part of this section, we’ll relate the information about how people understand to one of the most powerful techniques ever devised for mutual understanding and clear communication. This is the technique of active listening, pioneered in the early 1950’s by Carl Rogers. We’ll then take a step beyond active listening to probing for hidden meanings.

 

Understanding How Other People Understand


“Misunderstandings can result when people automatically assume that others think as they do.” — Robert Sommer, The Mind’s Eye, p.67, 68, 69.

A way of looking at the different modes of perception was suggested by Carl Jung. He placed thinking and feeling at opposite ends of one axis and intuition and sensation at opposite ends of a cross-axis.

 

 

He felt that everyone uses all four of these modes, but that, for example, a person could be typed by his or her using predominantly thinking and sensation, and using less intuition and feeling. In addition, Jung felt that a person could be more introverted than extroverted, or vice versa.

One of the major uses Jung made of this model of human character was to describe some differences in the way women and men are trained to behave in society.

Women- trained to act on intuition and feeling.

Men- trained to act on thinking and sensation (using sensory data).

These differences can be very significant for both personal and business relationships. Jung, as well as many other leading thinkers today, believed that a person can become whole by learning to function in modes they are not trained to. Again, having requiste variety and the range to cover all modes of perception will help you establish rapport more easily.

The feeling mode is the one most people in our culture have most difficulty understanding. This, no doubt, is a major reason why body and emotive theories have become so popular in recent years. We want to get back in touch with our bodies and feelings, and it seems we need the help of professionals to do so. Perhaps the cause of this is that as children we were often punished for expressing our feelings, especially when those feelings went counter to the desires of our parents and other adult authority figures. And for safety’s sake, small children are often admonished to look but don’t touch.

The fact that different people process information in different modes is, of course, critically important. Communication means different things to different people. Couples go into counselling because of communication problems arising from the differences over what communication means. In a typical interview the counsellor would ask what the problem is -- the wife may say that her husband doesn’t listen to her whilst he may say she doesn’t look at him when he talks to her. Or either may feel that the other’s unfeeling or uncaring because they’re not very affectionate or emotionally responsive. When a mismatching of perceptual modes is involved in the problem, the counsellor would first make the couple aware of what’s going on, to point out to them that each is asking something alien for the other. The next step might be to get each person to learn to communicate in ways that are meaningful to the other. In the case above, for example, the counsellor might encourage the husband to pay more attention to what the wife is saying. The wife might be advised to establish eye contact with her husband more frequently to show him that she’s paying attention to him.

 

NLP Basics:
Seeing Is Believing,
Hearing Is Believing, Feeling Is Believing


Each of us has, at any one time, a dominant or primary mode of perception. Bandler and Grinder observed psychiatrist Erikson and therapists Satir and Perl and referred to the three ways people generally process information as representational systems. They describe the process this way ; When you make initial contact with a person, they will probably be thinking in one of the three main representational systems. Internally they will be generating visual, images, having feelings, or talking to themselves and hearing sounds.


How To Identify Perceptual Modes With NLP


One of the simplest ways to identify another person’s dominant perceptual mode is to pay close attention to the words, phrases, and images he uses.

Predominant Modes:

VISUAL- words used, “I see what you mean,” “This idea looks good to me,” “ I want the big picture……we’ll focus on details later,” “ My point of view is….,” and so on.

AUDITORY- words used, “ Tell me again….I’m not sure I heard you right,” “That sounds like a good idea,” “Let me use you as a sounding board for an idea I have,” “ Yes that’s clear as a bell,” or, “Something just went click in my mind.”

FEELING- words used, “I sense what you mean,” “That idea feels right,” “I can’t get a handle on this concept,” and “He’s the kind of guy who can take an idea and run with it.”

Semantically, “That idea looks good,” “That idea sounds good,” and “That idea feels good,” all mean the same thing. But psychologically they involve entirely different processes. Identifying which mode is dominant in other people at any given time is an important key to their pattern of understanding, and is therefore an important element both in understanding them and getting them to understand you.

Another way to find out which perceptual mode is preferred by another person is simply to ask, “How would you like this information presented to you?” people are usually aware enough of their own process to give fairly accurate answers to this question. Some people, for example, will ask you to write it down for them (including graphs, charts, or pictures). Whilst others will just ask you to tell them what you want. Still, others will tell you that they want to get a good feeling for the situation and that it’s important for them to know they can trust you (such individuals may often say that they’d appreciate it if you’d stay in touch with them).


How To Get Others To Understand You With NLP


When you use the other person’s dominant perceptual mode, he or she will respond.

Sometimes it’s not readily apparent which form of communication a person will respond to. In such cases you may require using a trial and error approach. For example, if you’re not sure whether another person is responding to you in a visual, auditory, or feeling mode, you might pause periodically to ask, “Does this idea look good to you?” or, “Can you see yourself using this system?” or, “How does this sound to you?” or, “Does it answer some of the questions you have been asking yourself?” or, “I’d like to know: how you feel about this program?” or, “Does this seem like something you can run with?”

If you don’t get a meaningful response to the question presented in a visual mode, switch to auditory and if there’s still no response move to the feeling level. A frequent mistake people make when they’re presenting ideas to others is to interpret a lack of meaningful responses as resistance, when in fact the other person’s response may simply mean that you have failed to communicate in a way that they can make sense of. By having flexibility (requisite variety) to switch from one perceptual mode to another, you will be able to reach most people most of the time, and they will clearly understand what you want. This will enable you to get their co-operation and support more easily.


NLP And Custom-Designed Word Pictures


Having correctly identified and made the necessary connection to someone’s mode, you can then proceed to more sophisticated use of perceptual modes, that of perceptual overlap. The basic idea is to heighten other people’s receptivity to an idea by presenting it so that they can see, hear and feel themselves experiencing the benefits of the idea.

Perceptual overlapping allows you to custom-design the word picture to fit the primary and secondary perceptual modes of the person you are attempting to persuade.


NLP And Active Listening For Building Rapport


We’ve seen how different people organise their perceptions, in the visual, auditory, or feeling modes and how to gain greater trust and understanding by being aware of these differences and then matching the other person’s dominant perceptual mode.

An important strategy in effectively communicating what you mean to another person and ensuring that you understand what the other person means is active listening. The term grew out of research and practice in the 1940’s and 1950’s. One of the best statements on this technique is in an article by Carl Rogers, that appeared in the Harvard Business Review in 1952, entitled “Barriers and Gateways to Communication.” Rogers identifies what he believes to be the major barrier to effective communication: our tendency to evaluate or judge the ideas of another person or group.

The way to accomplish empathic understanding according to Rogers, is by following this rule, “Each person can speak up for himself only after he has first restated the ideas and feelings of the previous speaker accurately and to that speaker’s satisfaction.”

To listen actively to another person means, then, that you learn to see, hear, and feel in the same way that he or she sees, hears, and feels. In effect, it is another form of pacing, of establishing rapport. We believe that active listening, as described by Rogers, can be enhanced by pacing some of the other behaviours mentioned in part one. By pacing, or synchronising, your mood, body language, speech rate, and even breathing with the other person, you achieve strong rapport while maximising mutual understanding. In addition, by matching perceptual modes you further ensure that you and the other person are communicating on the same level.

Sometimes when you paraphrase what you think someone has said, they will modify or clarify what was actually intended. In other words, you might not have misunderstood but, on hearing you restate it, they will realise that they have left something out. This statement summarises nicely the problems of clear communication. “I know you think you understood what you think I said, but I wonder if you realise what I said is not what I meant.”

Clear communication can be difficult.


Probing With NLP For Hidden Messages


Active listening means listening emphatically so that you share, insofar as possible, the other person’s experience, so that you receive his or her communication in precisely the way it is intended. This is an extremely useful practice. But there is a potential problem here, even if you receive the speaker’s intended meaning, because people are not always completely aware of what they mean when they make statements. For example in the statement, “I’m confused,” the speaker is probably confused because they are not aware of something that they want or need to be conscious of. In this case active listening is not likely to produce much more than mutual confusion.

Most people know that almost every sentence we utter omits something either intentionally or unintentionally. When someone speaks to us our choice is either to guess at what is missing or ask for clarification.

A question used to probe for hidden meanings is “Why?” This useful question unearths a wealth of information about another person. But “Why?” can also be a potential barrier to effective probing. When asked to justify a certain action or behaviour, the form of the question is usually, for example, “Why are you so late?” or “Why did / didn’t you do that?” such questions can be intimidating and may generate defensiveness in another person. Coupled with an accusing tone, they strongly convey judgement and evaluation of a negative kind. One limitation involves the structure of our language. A “Why?” question can easily be answered with the “Because….” construction.

Q: “Why are you confused?”

A: “Because I don’t understand.”

The answers would not give any additional information. A more effective approach to probing for the unexpressed or hidden is to ask “What” questions (and it’s variations- Who, Which, when, Where, and How)-asked in a non threatening tone will usually produce a specific response:

Q: “What, specifically are you confused about?”

A: “Well, I don’t quite understand the exact relation between A and B.”

Note however that “Why?” questions are not always inappropriate nor that “What?” questions will always get you the specific information you want. But “Why?” will frequently result in generalisations, rationalisations, denials, or justifications. “What?” questions tend to produce specifics.

Person A: “I’ve made my decision and it’s final.”

Person B: “Why?”

A: “Because I said so!”

Now see the “What” approach-

A: “I’ve made my decision and it’s final.”

B: “What could cause you to change your mind?” or “Under what circumstances might you change your mind?”

A: “Well, I might change my mind if ………”


Summary on Rapport and NLP


People organise their experiences in three perceptual modes; the visual, the auditory, or the feeling. Bandler and Grinder have observed in their work with Erikson , that each of us has, at any one time a dominant perceptual mode, or representational system, to which the others are secondary. In our culture, for most people most of the time, the visual mode is primary. The expressions, “Seeing is believing,” and, “I saw it with my own eyes” are indicative of the importance we attach to visually processed information.

Auditory mode; the next most frequently used mode, a person attends to tonal qualities (sounds) of the information being processed, or constructs dialogues to organise his or her perceptions. These dialogues may be silent, internal ones, or they be uttered aloud. Often, people having conversations with themselves are not consciously aware of what they’re doing. In contrast to the visualizer, who is creating mental pictures, the person in an auditory mode is continually talking to themselves.

Still other people tend to organize their perceptions primarily around their feelings and sensations in their responses to the world.

Everyone uses and has access to all these modes regardless of what their bias is. What’s important to note is that this phenomenon of (unconscious) bias exists. As communicators, we can dramatically increase the effectiveness of our communicators.

By using active listening techniques, you can reach closer mutual understandings with others. Active listening involves a reflection back to other people of what you understand them to be saying.

By combining active listening with an awareness of perceptual modes and other pacing techniques, you can help to ensure that you see, hear, and feel what the other person is experiencing.

To move beyond active listening, to probe for hidden meanings, it is necessary to ask questions. “What?” questions produce more specific responses than “why?” questions which often result in defensiveness or generalisations.


Suggestions For Practice of NLP-Rapport Techniques


1) During conversations with clients, colleagues, and friends and while listening to radio or television pay attention to the words and phrases people use to describe their experiences. Try to identify their dominant perceptual modes.

2) Keep a notebook to jot down words and phrases that indicate perceptual modes.

3) Practice using the same words and phrases as others in your conversations with them. Vary this practice by choosing different words while remaining within the same perceptual mode.

4) In your conversations with others, practice active listening. Reflect back to them your understanding of what they’ve said or intended. Remain in their dominant perceptual mode while doing this. You might also pace some of their other behaviours to strengthen the bond of rapport you are creating.

5) Whenever someone says something important that you don’t fully understand, probe for hidden meaning by asking “What?” questions. Vary this by asking “Why?” questions to determine the difference in responses.

 

   


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