In a sense, we experience rapport every day when we interact with our friends, colleagues, family and even the bus conductor! It is no great mystery or huge skill for you to master. It simply means being interested in the other person and there are various ways in which you can let the other person know you’re interested and that they are being heard.

We are all capable of building a rapport with others, from our close friends and family members, to acquaintances and new people with whom we have just met.

Building a rapport allows for trust, openness and confidence of expression within the coaching or therapeutic session. Building a rapport with your client means they will feel cared for and understood, and they can trust you are listening to what they are saying.

Psychologists have discovered that there are three elements to building a rapport:

  1. Mutual attention where each person is tuning into the other.
  2. Showing positive feelings, which are conveyed by non-verbal messages.
  3. Unconsciously responding to each other’s movements and gestures.

The key is simple observation, awareness, and feedback. If and when it feels appropriate, you can use feedback and observation to ask what the changes meant instead of presuming you know. The more you observe and inquire, the more you will discover about your client. Remember, integrity is key so do not be intrusive. Instead, be curious.

There are techniques that we will discuss that when done well, can enhance rapport but it is important to remember that your client will pick up anything or anyone disingenuous.



So, rule number one don’t fake it—BE IT!

Authenticity—Be Yourself

Rapport is maintained when people know what they are getting with you. Be consistent in your coaching style or approach so that people get to see the real you.

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