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Ten Techniques to Build Rapport | Farnam Street

Ten Techniques to Build Rapport | Farnam Street | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
The lead instructor at the FBI’s Counterintelligence Training Center, Robin Dreeke, offers 10 techniques to build quick rapport with anyone.

**Warning – the content in this post is so effective that I encourage you to think carefully how it is used. I do not endorse or condone the use of these skills in malicious or deceptive ways**

I’m not quite sure how I came across Robin Dreeke’s It’s Not All About Me but I’m glad I did.

Robin is the lead instructor at the FBI’s Counterintelligence Training Center in all behavioral and interpersonal skills training.

And he wrote an awesome book on how to master the skills of communication.

His process not only includes research into social and evolutionary psychology, but it’s been honed from years of field experience.

I’ve been trying these out over the last few days and I’ve already noticed an improvement. Most importantly, I’ve put away my phone and focused on the person with whom I’m talking. This simple act of giving people my undivided attention has made a world of difference.

There are not many places that teach these techniques and I couldn’t have asked for a better guide than Robin.

1. Establishing Artificial Time Constraints

I suspect you’ve sat in a bar at one point or another and been approached by a stranger who tried to start a conversation. My guess is you felt awkward or possibly even uncomfortable. This is because you didn’t know when or if the conversation would end.

The first step in the process of developing great rapport and having great conversations is letting the other person know that there is an end in sight, and it is really close.

When you approach someone to start a conversation most people assess the situation for threat before anything else.

Humans have genetically survived because of this. This is a strong reason why these techniques work; they are specifically designed to lower the perceived risk to a stranger.

2. Accommodating Nonverbals

This is a pretty simple one. You want to look non threatening. The number one nonverbal technique to use to look more accommodating is to smile.

This isn’t new. It’s the second of six principles in Dale Carnegie’s book, How to Win Friends and Influence People.

You can however accentuate your smile in a subtle way.

Adding a slight head tilt shows the other person that you have comfort with them and trust them. Another nonverbal to try and maintain is a slightly lower chin angle.

High chin angles make someone feel like you’re looking down at them.

Another key nonverbal is body angle. Standing toe to toe with someone else can be intimidating.

A slight body angle or blade away from the individual you are engaging will present a much more accommodating nonverbal.

How you shake hands matters too.

An accommodating handshake is one that matches the strength of the other, and also takes more of a palm up angle.

3. Slower Rate of Speech

Speaking fast may mean you’re excited. It may even mean that you know what you’re talking about. However speaking slowly gives you more credibility.

Whenever I have a conversation that I believe is important for me to be credible in my content, I purposely slow down the delivery and take pauses for people to absorb the content of what I have just said.

4. Sympathy or Assistance Theme

If you’re like most people, you’ve felt a bit of regret for turning down someone seeking help.

Think for a moment about the times in your life when you have either sought assistance or been asked to provide it. When the request is simple, of limited duration, and non-threatening, we are more inclined to accommodate the request. As human beings, we are biologically conditioned to accommodate requests for assistance. The compulsion is based upon the fact that our ancient ancestors knew that if they did not provide assistance when asked, the assistance would not be granted to them if requested at a later date.

5. Ego Suspension

This may be the most rewarding and most difficult of all of Robin’s techniques.

Suspending your ego is nothing more complex than putting other individuals’ wants, needs, and perceptions of reality ahead of your own. Most times, when two individuals engage in a conversation, each patiently waits for the other person to be done with whatever story he or she is telling. Then, the other person tells his or her own story, usually on a related topic and often times in an attempt to have a better and more interesting story. Individuals practicing good ego suspension would continue to encourage the other individual to talk about his or her story, neglecting their own need to share what they think is a great story.

6. Validate Others

There are many types of validation. Robin identifies three of them.

This is the simplest and one of the most effective. Just listen to someone can produce amazing results. Where we run into problems is keeping our own thoughts, ideas, and stories out of the conversation.

True validation coupled with ego suspension means that you have no story to offer, that you are there simply to hear theirs.

And there is another benefit. When the focus is on the other person and we’re not anxious to tell our own story, we also tend to remember the details. We’re mindful.


… few people naturally use this to its fullest potential, and, most of the time, we don’t realize when it is being used; all we know is we really like the person who gives it.

Demonstrating thoughtfulness in words and actions with everyone in our lives is a simple and effective way to improve our relationships.

Validate Thoughts and Opinions
This technique is quite difficult because of “our innate need to correct others and the difficulty we have suppressing our own egos.”

But if you remember that we like people who are like us, you’ll immediately grasp the power of validating thoughts and opinions of others.

The best way to get someone to do what you want them to do is to have them come up with the idea. The best way to have them come up with your idea is, no surprise, to honestly understand the other person’s point of view and then build upon that base with your ideas.

7. Ask … How? When? Why?

It’s hard to answer these questions with a simple yes or no.

Once the individual being targeted in the conversation supplies more words and thoughts, a great conversationalist will utilize the content given and continue to ask open ended questions about the same content. The entire time, the individual being targeted is the one supplying the content of the conversation.

This means suppressing your ego and listening to what people are saying. You’re not thinking about what you’re going to say next. You’re not thinking about how the person is wrong. If you’re really listening then asking open ended questions based on the content of what they are saying should be pretty easy.

8. Connect with Quid Pro Quo

In the context of a conversation this means giving up a little information about yourself in order to further the conversation and get a little from others.

In my experiences, there are really only two types of situations where I have utilized quid pro quo. The first and more common of the instances is when you attempt to converse with someone who is either very introverted, guarded, or both. The second instance is when the person you are conversing with suddenly becomes very aware about how much they have been speaking, and they suddenly feel awkward. In both instances, giving a little information about you will help alleviate some of the issues.

9. Gift Giving

This is conversational reciprocation in action.

Great rapport builders and conversationalists use this desire proactively during every conversation. This technique, coupled with ego suspension, are the cornerstones for building great relationships. This is also the easiest technique to utilize, because gifts come in many forms, from non-material compliments, to tangible material gifts. Gift giving, or reciprocal altruism, is hardwired in our genetics.

The key is to do this without an agenda. If you have an agenda you’ll come across as insincere.

10. Manage Expectations

Regardless of the situation, whether it is an altruistic intention or not, there is an agenda. The individuals in life that are able to either mask their agenda or shift the agenda to something altruistic will have great success at building rapport.

The surest way to avoid disappointment is to lower expectations.

If you’re looking to improve the connections you have with others, give it a read.

Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Another article about Robin Dreke. Very effective ways to build relations and create trust. Learn from it for many different purposes: from customer service, to writing copy, to talking to investors.

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Rescooped by Marc Kneepkens from Startup Revolution

Content Marketing Shares For Startups - Trending on Curtti

Content Marketing Shares For Startups - Trending on Curtti | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Content Marketing For Startups
Content marketing authority is something everyone wants yet few realize the fastest way to achieve what they want is to share, share, share. The 4 Sharing Tips:

* Give Expertise Away, but not 100% (find a way to create ROI too).

* Following Is Currency, So SPEND IT.
* Presence Makes you REAL.
* Trust in KARMA of the SHARE.

Post is trending on Curatti after going live on Tuesday. This "bean stalk" is an important content marketing one for startups to climb. Being a startup is solipsistic and self referential when it needs to be open kimono authentic and all about sharing. Share EVERYTHING.

To read the full article, click on the title.

Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km

Via Martin (Marty) Smith
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Some universal truths here: the more you share, the more you gain.

Rescooped by Marc Kneepkens from Lean Content Marketing

Driving Revenue w/ Social, Content, Marketing Automation

Slides of the talk Jason Miller gave at the Scoop.it #leancontent meetup on Sept. 25, 2013. 

Get your Free Business Plan Template here:


Via Ally Greer
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Great presentation.

How about using strategies like this to find funding? Creativity impresses investors.

Neil Ferree's curator insight, October 3, 2013 10:23 AM

Content Marketing Automation and 10 Techniques You Should Know

theclairbyrd's curator insight, October 10, 2013 4:21 PM

We recently hosted our event series, #leancontent, with a guest from LinkedIn. His presentation focuses on driving revenue using smart content and optimized distribution steams. Check it out!

AlGonzalezinfo's curator insight, October 31, 2013 2:56 PM

Fantastic resource here.  The whole presentation is relevant but the Early Stage to Middle Stage to Late Stage is priceless!

Rescooped by Marc Kneepkens from Public Relations & Social Marketing Insight

Master This Copywriting Formula to Dominate Any Social Media Platform | Copyblogger

Master This Copywriting Formula to Dominate Any Social Media Platform | Copyblogger | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

When you master copywriting fundamentals you acquire skills that you can take anywhere.

Take the Problem-Agitate-Solve formula for example.

The formula works like this:

  • Identify a problem
  • Agitate that problem
  • Trot out the solution

Its applications are endless.

To read the full article, click on the title or image.

Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km

Via Jeff Domansky
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Understanding human behavior is key to mastering internet skills. Great article.

Rescooped by Marc Kneepkens from Digital Storytelling

7 Secrets of Powerful Storytelling From One of America’s Most Insightful Actors | Video | TheBlaze.com

7 Secrets of Powerful Storytelling From One of America’s Most Insightful Actors | Video | TheBlaze.com | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Tim Hartman is a man of many talents. The Pittsburgh, Pa.-based performer is a cartoonist, an actor and a seasoned narrator. And for over 40 years he’s been entertaining and inspiring the masses through the arts, appearing in local venues, on Broadway and in feature films.

Among his unique talents is the ability to masterfully convey a story — to draw audiences into the fray by capturing the essence of characters and the situations they face.

We asked Hartman to share his personal path into the entertainment world as well as some of his secrets for storytelling success.

His career began, he says, when he had an epiphany at age 11 or 12-years-old.

“[I was] telling a story about something that happened to me. Everybody was looking at me and I’m communicating something that’s making them all laugh,” he recalled. “And they’re laughing until they cry.”

It was this one moment — this telling of a simple story — that led Hartman to realize the gift he’s been given.

While many people may never act professionally or appear on-stage to convey a dramatic story, the skills Hartman has honed are helpful to anyone tasked with communicating a message.

From delivering a public speech to effectively addressing peers in the workplace, his advice is both beneficial and applicable. Hartman’s best tips, tricks and secrets to successful storytelling are below:

To read the full story with the 7 tips & tricks, click on the title of the article.

Get your Free Business Plan Template here:


Via José Carlos
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Pitching your ideas to investors is telling a story. You need to get the attention and turn some heads. Hartman's tips are very useful, take a lookk and see what's in it for you. Standing up in front of a panel of investors, or a sitting at a boardroom table with a number of decision makers can be intimidatiing.

Karen Dietz's curator insight, November 5, 2013 11:11 AM

Here is a blog post with tips along with several videos where Tim Hartman shares his insights and tips on better storytelling.

I've poked around and so far so good. So I think you will benefit from these pieces. Especially if you are looking for online help with your business stories.

Let me know if you like these and if they are of value to you!

And thanks to fellow curator   and his curation Digital Storytelling for finding and sharing this.

This was written by Karen Dietz for her curated content on business storytelling atwww.scoop.it/t/just-story-it 

Martin Riggs's curator insight, November 6, 2013 6:58 PM

read this article

Rescooped by Marc Kneepkens from Internet Presence

Why Should A Startup Have A Social Media Presence?

Why Should A Startup Have A Social Media Presence? | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Social media is extremely essential for a business to expand. The role of social media has become paramount for a business to grow and reach a wider customer base.

There are sectors a business needs to look after – the profile of the company, the products, and the target customers. Social media platforms, like Facebook and Twitter, have made this humongous job a lot easier. Nowadays, a business even with a little exposure on social media has a great chance of making it big, and increasing its rate of conversion.

Following are the reasons why social media is important for a business:

I. Advertising: A social media platform is the best place where a business can highlight its products and services. The social networking sites can become a free brochure – a storefront – where the business can make its profile look attractive, and post photos and videos of important events to attract potential customers.

Click on the title to read the full article.

Get your Free Business Plan Template here:


Via Martin (Marty) Smith, Marc Kneepkens
DMA Central's comment, September 19, 2013 10:01 PM
Thanks for sharing! very informative!
Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, October 28, 2013 10:15 AM

It's very obvious that every company needs a social media presence, not just startups. However, if you can build a following for your company before it gets launched, the more chance for success you will have.

Haley Evans's curator insight, November 14, 2013 11:34 AM

Social media is one of the main forms of communications in today’s society. Whether it is between publics, consumers, or businesses, social media is an essential way of communicating with one another.  Business are able to use social media in many different ways to help there company and to expand the company to different publics.  By using social media companies are able to not only reach more publics, but have a better chance at becoming a well-known and successful company in the business and consumer world.  One reason why social media is important for a business is advertising.  In Adventure in Public relations, Guth and Marsh explain how much advertising can be done on social media and how affective it is in comparison to other Medias.  Advertisement on social media can be run twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.  It also shows the best of all types of media. The advertisement can show pictures, video, sound, and text. By using social media to advertise, your business has potential to reach consumers worldwide.  When you are reaching consumers worldwide the chances of your company making it big increase significantly. 

On top of the advertisement being able to reach so many people, it is extremely cost-effective as well.  Using cost-effecting is another important reason why social media is so important.  It can be extremely expensive to print off thousands of flyers and brochures, or to place ads in a newspaper.  A company can launch a new product on a social media site for free!  To add to this by using social media the company is also able to be time efficient.  When advertising or simply working to reach target consumers and publics, it is made easy with social media.  On social media sites a company can advertise their products and launch dates on the screen, if a user likes a link or an add on their page they are able to follow the company and receive more promotions and ads to that company on their other social media sites.  These platforms help to target the business’ audience and consumers more easily and efficiently. Lastly a huge perk of using social media for your company is that you are able to get timely feedback from consumers.  Guth and Marsh explain that it is important to keep and a close following on the feedback that is given from consumers and when the company receives feedback, make sure to respond quickly and efficiently.