How to build Rapport quickly

Dr Alan Jones PhD FRSA
5 min readMar 26, 2019

How to build Rapport with anyone quickly

People make their minds up about another individual within a few seconds — it’s about first impressions. Now I’m not going say anything more about that save for making the following points.

Psychologically the things people notice first are:-

1 ) Smell

2) Colour

3) Appearance — eyes and smile

4) Attractiveness — based upon their subjective criteria

5) Congruency — the degree to what is being said matches how it is said

Clearly in a rapport building situation we can take responsibility for four out of five of these key things. How someone assesses our attractiveness is a matter for them.

When I give presentation workshops to companies, sales teams and managers I make the point that to ‘get attention you must first give attention’.

So, a key aspect of building rapport is in paying attention to the individual you are attempting to create rapport with.

Practitioners of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) use the term ‘uptime’ to denote high levels of sensory acuity — watching the macro and micro nonverbal communication cues and listening to verbal cues for cognitive processing.

Mirroring someone else’s body posture; matching their breathing and pacing their language are all examples of NLP techniques.


It has been suggested that when people are en-rapport their pattern of breathing is similar, if not the same.

Their breathing tends to be at the same rate and from the same position.

Our breathing pattern is something we are generally not conscious of, so stop for a moment at notice how you are breathing. The rate, the depth and whether it’s your chest or stomach that rises and falls.

Now, try to casually note those things in the people around you. Don’t stare, that’s far too creepy, use peripheral vision.

Interesting eh?

If you can notice the breathing rate and position of the person you are trying to gain rapport with then you can consciously, and slowly, synchronise…

Dr Alan Jones PhD FRSA

Director of Elyn Bres writing about personal development, the mind, spirituality and future histories. Elyn Bres is Cornish for Clear Mind