Still Essential: Rapport Skills in the time of Corona

Most of us are spending more time that ever imagined on zoom, FaceTime and other forms of interactive video. Without the personal contact we are used to, emotional distance can creep in too. This is where good old NLP rapport skills can come to the fore for you.

A basic principle of NLP is that every behavior is useful in some context. Here’s how this context of virtual reality can be used to make some rapport skills even easier to practice and improve.

All these video conferences, presentations, and meetings give you practice opportunities that are already set up for you. Doing this can make useful and even fun occasions that might otherwise drift into boredom.

All you have to do is choose the skills to practice today, or perhaps in your next three video chats. Jot some notes about what to practice and keep them where you can see them during your sessions.

For instance, you might choose to match voice tone in the next three conversations. Do the skill for a set amount of time, noticing the results. If it’s a multiple person video, such as a meeting, you could choose just one person to match, or you could rotate.

Or you could match volume, or tempo:
If he is speaking loudly, speak loudly.
If she is talking fast, talk fast.

In some cases where recordings are available, you can go back and review to really see in some detail where and how things changed. You’ll have evidence for what worked and what didn’t. Honing your skills like this will also help you to recognize when other people are in rapport, and when that changes. You’ll get to review situations where you wonder “what happened there? I thought they were in agreement, and suddenly they weren’t?” with new understanding.

Just doing this a few times will increase your rapport and consequent credibility far more than you imagine. That’s pretty important when it’s more difficult to make connections in real life, isn’t it?

These skills are fundamental essentials of NLP. One of the founders, John Grinder, said “all you need to do NLP are an outcome, rapport, and a ritual.”

They are taught extensively and completely in all good NLP trainings. You can read more about rapport skills and get video demos in our book “NLP: The Essential Guide”.



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