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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.

Listening
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.

Thoughtfulness

… 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.


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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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Startup Couples - When Is It Time To Ask For Help? - Feld Thoughts

Startup Couples - When Is It Time To Ask For Help? - Feld Thoughts | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Last summer, Amy and I spent a long, wonderful lunch in Paris with Cliff Shaw and Christy Clark. Cliff is CEO of Mocavo, a company that went through Techstars that we’ve funded, and I deeply enjoy our friendship, even though we don’t see each other that often. I remember our lunch with great pleasure, so when Christy and I had a brief conversation about her reaction to Startup Life: Surviving and Thriving in a Relationship with an Entrepreneur, in encouraged her to write a guest post with her thoughts on the entrepreneurial couple and when it’s time for couples counseling. 

Christy is a licensed professional counselor with a private practice focused on intimate relationships and sexuality based in Boulder, Colorado. Her post absolutely blew me away with its power, clarity, and intimacy. She’s brave to put her and Cliff’s struggles – and their solutions – out there. I hope you get as much out of it as I did.

Navigating an intimate relationship is never simple; doing so with an entrepreneur adds a whole additional layer of unique challenges. I’ve come to think of it as a somewhat advanced maneuver: the triple axel of relationships, if you will.

This is a subject I am particularly passionate about. Not only have I been partnered with an entrepreneur for the past eighteen years, but I am also a psychotherapist with a practice focused on intimate relationships and sexuality. Much has been written on the topic of entrepreneurs and their partnerships, including “Startup Life: Surviving and Thriving in a Relationship with an Entrepreneur.” Brad Feld and Amy Batchelor, a couple I know and respect tremendously, packed their book with great information and ideas about navigating your partnership in the context of a startup. I imagine many couples are able to incorporate the thoughtful ideas and tips on their own with great success.


However, I want to talk about the couples who cannot.

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


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https://growthink.infusionsoft.com/go/freebptemplate/gt4045/
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

This article is excellent, and certainly it brings up some issues that just about everyone in the startup scene is experiencing: being in a relationship when starting a company is hard for everyone around you, especially your most intimate partner.

Go ahead and read the article, it is brutally honest, sincere and intimate. Highly recommended.

Truly interested investors will ask questions about your personal life, they need to know how stable you are in your shoes and your relationships.

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An FBI Agent Reveals 5 Steps To Gaining Anyone's Trust

An FBI Agent Reveals 5 Steps To Gaining Anyone's Trust | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
FBI agent Robin Dreeke combines science and years of work in the field to offer practical tips to build rapport and establish trust.

I had an opportunity to ask Robin Dreeke a few questions. Robin is in charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s elite Counterintelligence Behavioral Analysis Program and the author of "It’s Not All About Me."

Robin combines science and years of work in the field to offer practical tips to build rapport and establish trust. In this brief interview he discusses building relationships, how to approach someone you don’t know and ask for a favor, and the keys to establishing trust.

A lot of people are interested in strengthening and furthering relationships. How can people do this?

This is the most important aspect of everything we do in life. I’m going to give some light science behind each of my answers but to me it just explains the subjective simple explanations behind naturally great trusting relationships.

Both anecdotal (evidence) as well as science supports the fact that the greatest happiness is found in positive social interactions and relationships. The simplest answer to this is to “make it all about them.” Our brain rewards us chemically when we are able to talk and share our own views, priorities, and goals with others… long term, short term, etc. Our brain also rewards us when we are unconditionally accepted for who we are as a human being without judgement.

Both of these concepts are genetically coded in each of us (to varying degrees) because of our ancient survival instincts (ego-centrism) as well as our need to belong to groups or a tribe (tribal mentality for survival and resources). When you put these simple concepts together the answer is simple to understand, but oftentimes difficult to execute…. Speak in terms of the other person’s interests and priorities and then validate them, their choices, and who they are non-judgmentally. Some people do this naturally, for the rest of us you can build this skill and it eventually becomes second nature.

Trust is a foundation to most situations in life. How can we develop trust? What are the keys?

I can only answer from my own background and experience because trust is a very difficult thing to measure and define and each individual’s definition can vary and our brain takes in much more than verbal information when determining trust. For me and what I teach I start with what I said in question one. Trust first starts with a relationship where the other person’s brain is rewarding them for the engagement with you by doing what I outlined above.

Part two of my trust process is to understand the other person’s goals and keeping their goals and priorities on the top of my list of goals and priorities. By making the other person’s goals and priorities yours, trust will develop. Over time (some people faster than others) a need to reciprocate the kindness and relationship will build. In other words, trust is built faster and stronger when there is no personal agenda.

What’s the best way to approach someone you don’t know and ask them for a favor?

Using sympathy and seeking help is always the best. If you can wrap the help / favor you are looking for around a priority and interest of the individual you are engaging, the odds of success increase. Add social proof (i.e., others around you helping already or signed a petition etc.) and you increase it even more. Again, focus on how you can ask a favor while getting their brain to reward them for doing so.

What are some strategies to build rapport while giving a talk, presentation, or interview?

Ego Suspension / self-deprecating humor… Make it all about them! How is the information you are chatting about going to benefit them? Talk about the great strengths and skills they each have already and that all you hope to do is to have them understand their strengths even better and be able to pass them on to others more effectively if they want to. Validate every question and opinion non-judgmentally. If you don’t happen to agree, simply ask “that’s a fascinating / insightful/ thoughtful opinion… would you mind helping me understand how you came up with it?” Again, their brain will reward them on multiple levels for this.

I suspect you spend a lot of time trying to figure out if people are manipulating you or the situation? Can you talk about this? How can you tell when people are attempting to manipulate you?

I’ll start by saying I don’t like the word manipulate. The word tends to objectify people and removes the human being from the equation. When people feel they are objects, trust will not be built. I tend to not think of anyone trying to manipulate me but at times a very self-serving agenda becomes evident. This is what manipulation generally is…. a self-serving agenda where the other person feels used with no reciprocity.

When I notice that there may be an overabundance of a self-serving agenda (manipulation) I don’t judge the person negatively. I try to explore two areas in order to understand them better. (go back to my first answers here… this process begins to build a relationship and trust :)) I try to understand what their objective is and why that is their objective.

What are they trying to achieve, etc. I will also attempt to understand why they felt a certain way of communicating with me would be effective for them in the situation. I tend to ask questions to help them think about how they might be more successful in their objectives using other methods… such as I outlined above.

In other words, help them achieve whatever objective with me they had…. because wasn’t that their goal after all? :) See… keep it always coming back to them.

If you had to give a crash course in building a relationship with someone, what are the top 5 things people need to do? What carries the bulk of the freight so-to-speak?

1) Learn… about their priorities, goals, and objectives.
2) Place… theirs ahead of yours
3) Allow them to talk…. suspend your own need to talk.
4) Seek their thoughts and opinions.
5) Ego suspension!!! Validate them unconditionally and non-judgmentally for who they are as a human being.


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Via Official AndreasCY
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Great skill that will always come in handy in any situation. Whether dealing with investors, partners, your team, customers, etc.

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Official AndreasCY's curator insight, October 18, 8:43 AM

It's not all about you.