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3 Ways to Build Unbeatable Rapport With People That Transforms into Trust Here are three techniques to help you build rapport and trust with anyone you meet.

By Lena Sisco

Key Takeaways

  • Three ways to build rapport and gain the trust of your peers, clients and stakeholders
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Trust is the foundation of any relationship. We follow leaders we trust, buy products from companies we trust and tell the truth to people we trust. When you have rapport, trust can follow if you know how to connect on a deeper level than just creating a harmonious relationship. In our professional lives, trust can increase our productivity, customer base and revenue, so we need to go beyond simply being understanding; we need to create an environment of trust that begins with rapport.

Most people know how to build rapport; we can smile, find common ground and show interest in others to connect with them. We may overlook the importance of our thoughts, words and body language and the role each plays in our abilities to bond with people and garner their trust. From the onset of meeting someone, we must consider how we come across to them, both verbally and nonverbally, to ensure we appear trustworthy. Understanding how our thoughts drive our behaviors can help us create a comfortable environment for our peers, clients and stakeholders to gain their trust.

Below, I'll share three innovative techniques to help you build rapport that transforms into trust.

Related: Build Trust with Anyone Using These 10 Proven Strategies

1. Take control of your thoughts

Our thoughts drive our behavior. They create our emotions and are responsible for our reactions to people and situations.

Have you ever been cut off in traffic? I'm sure you have. If you're like me, when this happens, you get angry. You may even yell at the other driver (even if they can't hear you) and perhaps make inappropriate hand gestures. Most people believe the driver's actions created their anger. However, people and events cannot make us angry; only our thoughts about people and events can. If we change our thoughts, we can change our feelings and reactions. So, the next time you get cut off in traffic, think this instead: Perhaps the driver didn't see me. I guarantee your reaction will be different.

So, how can this help us gain trust? When we work on controlling our thoughts and changing them to be more empathetic, we change how we react to people and situations. Instead of getting angry, we can stay calm and objective in any situation. The less reactive we are, the more people will view us as level-headed and therefore trust us.

2. Change your language

This one will surely give you wins if you put in the work! When I was a green interviewer, I used to say, "I know you're lying to me." I cringe thinking about this now. Even with a smile, that statement is accusatory. Who in their right mind would say, "Oh yes, I am, so I'll tell you the truth now." No one! That statement only invites that person to say, "No, I'm not."

A core strategy in my non-accusatory interviewing training is to change our language from accusatory statements and questions to non-accusatory ones. For example, even if you are confident your client is upset with you or your service, you cannot assign them an emotion. So, instead of saying, "You seem upset," you ask, "How do you feel right now?" Here is another example: If you feel that you were very clear in your message and that the other person wasn't paying attention to you, you cannot say, "You weren't listening to me." Instead, say, "Perhaps I wasn't clear. I would like to restate what I just said."

Speaking in a non-accusatory manner will persuade others to avoid getting defensive. This way, you are actually helping other people stay calm. They will associate this feeling with you and therefore begin to trust you because you make them feel good.

Related: Use These 5 Hacks to Instantly Build Rapport With Your Clients

3. Open your body language

I am sure you all have heard about the importance of body language. I have been teaching body language for decades — and it will take me much more than an article to prepare you on how to analyze it accurately — but I can share this with you, and you will grasp it immediately. You can open your body language to appear open to meeting, connecting and speaking with people.

To open your body language, all you have to do is take up space by standing straight with your arms at your sides. This posture is called a power pose because you feel powerful and confident as you stand like this. You appear more approachable, and this will encourage people to feel comfortable around you. We trust people who make us feel safe and comfortable. So, here are some tips you can start incorporating today to help you look more open, confident and trustworthy.

  • Stand tall, slightly lift your chin and use good eye contact. You will be seen as someone who is confident and can be trusted.

  • Avoid crossing your hands in front of you and crossing your arms, as this is universally perceived as defensive and closed-off.

  • Talk with your hands — contrary to what your public speaking coach told you, this is natural, so you will feel and look relaxed.

  • Avoid slouching, curling your shoulders in and lowering your head. You will look and feel insecure and may come across as someone who can't be trusted.

Now you have three ways to build rapport and gain trust. Do not forget to be predictable with these behaviors! If you display one behavior one day and the opposite another, people will be confused. Confusion is uncomfortable. So, choose the behaviors you want to model and actively behave that way all the time. With a deeper understanding of human behavior, we can naturally forge more trusting relationships.

Related: 7 Body-Language Hacks to Try When Meeting New People

Lena Sisco

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

CEO and Founder of The Congruency Group

Lena Sisco is an expert in body language, communication techniques, lie detection, and leadership. She is a published author, keynote speaker, TEDx speaker, and TV personality. Lena is a former Navy Intelligence Officer and DoD interrogator and is certified in the Psychology of Leadership.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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