Do you struggle to make friends easily?
Are new business meetings awkward for you?
Do others take a while to get to know and like you?
We live in a fast paced world where the importance of making the right first impression is the difference between success and failure. First impressions count. One's ability to form an immediate connection with people is so important in social and occupational settings. It requires a heightened observation, social intelligence and empathy. This applies to everyone not just travelling salesmen.
Upon first encounters with new people, one will often forget people’s names because our senses are too busy sizing up our new acquaintances. Our brains whirr away gathering information, testing, analysing and applying stereotypes. This all happens within those few seconds when you could establish instant rapport with someone.
Everyone knows someone who is able to do this almost every time they meet a new person. They’re immediately likeable and they use this to good effect. Similarly some people are just awful at first impressions, taking forever to be liked regardless of possessing equally admirable qualities.
When Dale Carnegie wrote, “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, it was 1936. A lot has changed since then, but the fundamentals of the social human haven’t. The reason this book has echoed down the decades is that it was the first which broached the fundamentals of general social discourse. Winning friends and influencing people is a science and so is building rapport. But maybe if you bought the 15th million plus copy you may be disappointed as the advice is to wave at strangers and doff your hat.
Your nonverbal communication, like facial gestures and body language, represent the majority of your communication. It is this which contributes most to building rapport but it is also the most difficult to perfect.
Seeming too aware or trying too hard creates the wrong impression. Everything, including your tone of voice and choice of words, must work in harmony. Should any element appear rehearsed or a pretence, one achieves the opposite of genuine, instant rapport.
Establishing instant rapport requires a whole lot of things from body language, tone of voice and approach. Building instant rapport is a talent which is best outsourced to a place where it can flow authentically; your subconscious mind.