Everything being equal people deal with people they like and they trust. And everything being unequal they still deal with people they like and they trust. When we were in school we were taught the technical aspects that we needed to be good at our jobs and not the communication, people and relationship building skills that are essential for ongoing success.
Furthermore, according to my research in working with Law firms, companies and organizations for more than 30 years, I have found that only 15% of an associates or partners success in your firm will be due to their technical skills and 85% will be due to their communication, emotional intelligence, people skills and their ability to get along with others.
In fact, I have worked with a number of rainmakers at firms who were technically brilliant and brought in business, however, they were given ultimatums to get better in their “getting along abilities” through my coaching or they were going to be fired.
To get clients, keep them and get enthusiastic referrals we must work on our people skills to build rapport, enduring connections and lasting relationships. This article will provide you with the traits that attract people and those that turn them off. It all starts with building rapport.
Rapport is the magic ingredient for getting along with our customers, co-workers, colleagues, committee members, families, friends, neighbors and everyone else we encounter in any role, anywhere, anytime.
Rev Up Your Rapport. Create Enduring Connections with Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere
Rapport can be defined as “bringing agreement, harmony and accord to a relationship”. Isn’t that what we want in our connections – to discover points of mutual interest or common ground, reach agreements, live and work together in harmony and enjoy interactions along the way- with more ease? Rapport is the magic ingredient for getting along with our customers, co-workers, colleagues, committee members, families, friends, neighbors and everyone else we encounter in any role, anywhere, anytime. Getting along means smoother sailing, fewer hassles, and more fun!
The key to revving up rapport lies in expressing the same qualities that people find attractive. It’s the pleasure/pain principle in action. We move toward the people we like- those who are easy to get along with, who make us feel comfortable, who bring out our best qualities (including our smiles, laughter and good feelings).
In the reverse, we move away from those who bring us discomfort- those with whom we find nothing in common, or who grate on our nerves, make us see red, hold up our plans, don’t meet our expectations, give us headaches, or provoke other negative responses.
The relationships that bring us pleasure and good experiences are likely to endear as well as endure, generating fond memories, long-lasting impressions and joyful feelings. In contrast, the relationships that bring us discomfort and cause negative experiences are likely to test our endurance; although their accompanying impressions, feelings, and memories may also last, we probably wish they wouldn’t.
The ability to rev up your rapport is critical to creating enduring connections. Without it, you’re more likely to suffer the pain and stress of troubled relationships and disappointing connections. You may also miss out on wonderful opportunities and their power to transform. All are typical fallout from choosing a life of disconnection.
According to the book, “Get Along with Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere … 8 keys to creating enduring connections with customers, co-workers" – even kids, by Arnold Sanow and Sandra Strauss here are key traits you must focus on to rev up your rapport:
Authenticity / Good communication skills
Appreciation / Humor
Compassion / Neat appearance
Confidence / Positive attitude
Engaging style / Social skills
Enthusiasm / Respect
Friendliness / Sincerity
Conversely, here are traits that typically turn people off or turn them away:
Abrasiveness / Lack of humor
Apathy / Negative attitude
Coldness / Poor body language
Insensitivity / Poor communication skills
Insincerity / Poor social skills
Lack of appreciation / Profanity
Lack of confidence / Rudeness
Not only does rapport enhance your personal and professional relationships, but it can also boost your company’s bottom line. Communicating with insight, perception, and empathy strengthens your efforts to keep customers happy, gain and maintain trust, regain favor with disgruntled clients and customers and increase the likelihood of getting their repeat business and their referrals. Likewise, building a good rapport with colleagues increases the quality of your working relationships, with corresponding impact on productivity, creativity, cooperation, morale and overall job satisfaction.
Here are 5 specific steps you can take to boost your rapport:
1. Call people by name. As Dale Carnegie stated in his book, How to Win Friends and Influence People,” there is nothing more important to someone than their name”
2. Pay attention. When conversing with someone by phone or in-person give them your full attention. Don’t get distracted by other people or tasks.
3. Don’t interrupt. When you interrupt someone, sensitivity, rapport and commitment are killed. If there is one thing people hate, it’s being interrupted.
4. Treat others as special. To the extent that you treat someone as special and focus on their needs and concerns they will immediately gravitate to you and want to deal with and work with you in the future. A good way to remember this concept is to greet every person you meet as if they were a long lost friend!
5. Be interested not just interesting. This is the key to popularity. Too many people end up talking all the time, dominating the conversation and fail to have a two way conversation. People love people who listen to them.
As Norman Vincent Peale stated, “Getting people to like you is merely the other side of liking them”.