Try a little mind experiment with me. Imagine a friend of yours, one that you’ve known for a long time. You trust that person, right? If they suggested that you do something,and it didn’t sound too crazy, you’d probably do it, right? Me too. Now imagine if somebody that you didn’t know came up to you, and asked you out of the blue to do the exact same thing. How would you react? Probably the same way I would . Tell the person no thanks. If they persisted, then tell them to get lost.
What’s missing from this is a feeling of connection. A deep feeling of similarity with this person. Similar beliefs, ideas, experiences. It’s very hard for somebody that hasn’t known you forÂ a long time to create this feeling. But what if there was? What if there were a secret method, known only to a few of how to create this feeling?
This technique is called rapport. The word rapport is probably familiar to you, but unfortunately it gets thrown around so much, not too many people really understand the power behind it. Rapport is that deep feeling that you experience when you are really connecting with somebody on an unconscious level. And the best part about it, is it’s really easy toÂ do.
The first step in rapport is to match body language of the person that you want to persuade. Mirror them as much as you can without getting caught. When they shift, you shift. This is so simple, yet so mindbogglingly powerful its amazing so many people don’t use this on a daily basis. If they are slouched a little bit, you slouch a little bit. If they are resting their elbow on the table, you rest your elbow on the table. I’m not going to even begin to describe how powerful this is on a first date, because I’m sure you can think of many ways you can use this.
The next step is to match their speech, as closely as possible. This one is a lot more complicated, because most people feel weird when speaking in a voice that is not ‘normal’ for them. It gets easier the more you do it, though. It’s important to match their tone and speed. If they speak really fast, you speak really fast. If they speak slow, and pause a lot, you speak slow and pause a lot.
The next step is to see their point of view. This doesn’t mean agreeing with everything they say. This means listening, not interrupting, and really making an effort to see things from their point of view. Even if they have a belief which is diametrically opposed to yours, one such controversial topics such as abortion and gun control, hold your tongue. Listen patiently, and at least let them know that you respect their opinion, and you can see how they would have such an opinion. This is a major stumbling block for people. So much so that some people refuse to date or even be friends with people that have opposite opinions than theirs. This can be very limiting, as being able to see opinions from viewpoints than your own can be very rewarding.
These are just the beginning steps of developing deep rapport with somebody that you want persuade. But because they are so powerful, once you master these, you will have an edge over almost anyone you meet.