Following on from the previous article which gave an overview of rapport as the concept is defined in NLP, this one looks at how you know if you have rapport.
- You’ll feel it. Or get a sense of being at one with the other person. Conversely, if you lose rapport, or put a foot wrong, you’ll feel uncomfortable. We’ve all had that experience. But you can just do some more matching and get back into rapport again.
- Pacing and leading. ‘Pacing’ is the word from NLP jargon meaning matching someone, falling into step with them, entering into their model of the world. You can pace someone’s ideas, beliefs and experiences as well as their words and behaviour (you don’t have to share those ideas, you just have to fall into step with them for a while).
Human beings have a natural tendency to fall into step with each other. So after you have matched someone for a while, you can do something slightly different – slow your breathing down, uncross your legs, or scratch your nose – and if you have rapport, the other person will follow you. If they don’t, do some more matching.
- Skin colour changes. When people feel relaxed, capillaries in the skin dilate so the skin appears darker (in dark-skinned people) or pinker (in light-skinned people).
- The other person may tell you. They may say something like “I feel like I have known you for ages” or “I’ve never told anyone this before, but…”
You may also want to look at the much longer article ‘What classic NLP doesn’t tell you about rapport‘ for some more ideas.