There are a number of ways you can practise and sharpen your rapport skills. If you actually do these exercises (as opposed to reading about them) you will soon become better than most NLP master practitioners.
- Notice examples of people in rapport around you – on the train, in a bar, at work, anywhere that people gather.
- Practise non-verbal rapport with strangers. You can unobtrusively match someone’s posture or breathing (just as you may have done unconsciously many times in the past). Don’t be surprised if they strike up a conversation with you.
- Choose a different aspect of rapport to practise every day, or even for a week. One week you could do voice tone; when you’ve mastered that you could move on to breathing, then representational system, meta-programs, and so on.
- Watch TV. Notice the type of words that people on the TV are using. Listen to the representational systems rather than the content. Does the character or presenter use mainly visual words, or mainly feeling, or what? Practise until you can spot the dominant representational system and get the content of what they are saying at the same time.
- When that gets too easy, rephrase what they are saying in a different representational system. Never again will there be “nothing on telly tonight”.
- If you get really confident in your own abilities, you could try deliberately losing rapport and then getting it back. I say ‘when you get really confident’ because it could go horribly wrong…
What else could you match to achieve rapport?