I’ve always found it easy to build professional relationships, mostly because I quite like having a natter. But my question to you would be; am I naturally gifted at building rapport or is it a skill I have cultivated over the years?
Throughout the years I have had various jobs from waitressing to call centre advisor, so you could say that I have needed to get good at talking to people from day one.
When I first got into learning and development I found it quite difficult being stood in front of people. I would shake and deliver my training too quickly and I would sometimes need to go over the content again with some learners.
This was new territory for me. I was used to being able to connect with people face to face but on a 1 on 1 basis or in small groups, not to have 12 blank faces staring at me and expecting me to train them to do a specific job!
So I would stand there, shaking, struggling to get my words out in a way that made sense. And over time it got easier because I realised creating that relationship with a group is no different from creating it with an individual.
In fact, having that rapport with my training groups made the days fly by and I found they picked things up a lot quicker because we were having fun and chatting.
There are 5 tried and tested tricks for building rapport:
1. Make a fantastic first impression
2. Remember the facts
3. Make small talk
4. Have a little empathy
5. Be a mirror
So there it is, the 5 tips for building rapport. If you want to know more about them, what they mean and how to apply them you can take my quick bite-size course on how to build rapport.
And to answer my earlier question, is it cultivated rapport or a natural gift? I’d like to think it’s a bit of both.
About the contributor:
Kim Ellis, founder of Go Ginger Learning Solutions, is a learning specialist based in Yorkshire.
Ms. Ellis have over 10 years experience in learning and development, primarily within a Contact Centre environment. She has extensive experience with developing blended learning solutions and interactive eLearning.
She is passionate about learning and the learner experience. She specialises in taking a training course, stripping it back and rebuilding it from the ground up, always thinking about the learner experience.