6 Ways to Instantly Build Rapport

Xperience Growthblogposts

Rapport happens when two people are in sync with each other. They respond to the communication cues of the other person.

Rapport is based on the concept that people who are like each other like each other. However, rapport isn’t necessarily about someone “liking” you. It’s more about developing confidence, trust, and a bond with the other person.

Our communication builds rapport with other people. It’s all our communication – the conscious and unconscious. To that point, often rapport is felt on the unconscious level rather than conscious.

It can happen naturally and most of the time does. Yet, when you learn skills to build rapport quickly, you can cause rapport to be built whenever you choose.

Here are 6 ways to build rapport in an instant.


Matching happens when you match something the other person is doing. Find something subtle in their posture, facial expressions, gestures or even their breathing. Then subtly do it with them. It’s referred to as pacing. If they’re smiling, you smile. if they’re sitting back in their chair, you do, too. When they lean in, so do you.

You’ll know when you have rapport when you make a gesture of your own, like picking up a water glass, and they do it, too. We call that leading.


Similar to matching, you are using the mirror opposite. It’s like they are looking in a mirror. I like to do this via Zoom. If someone has their hands resting at a particular spot on their face, and if it’s natural for me, I’ll do the same. The result to them is that they are looking at someone who looks like them.

Crossover mirroring

Crossover mirroring is when you match what someone is doing with something just a little different. It’s a very covert way to make rapport stick because of the increase of subtlety.

A couple great examples are softly tapping your finger to the rhythm of their breath and exaggerating your facial expressions when someone is really expressive with their gestures.

Using Key Words

We tend to use a lot of the same words over and over again. Especially words that express a feeling or make an exclamation. Notice words that people use frequently and work it into your language when talking with them, as long as it feels natural.

For me, I use the word “cool” quite a bit. (In fact, many of my clients report they start saying “cool” too… I’ll take that as a sign of great rapport). When someone uses “cool” with me, I sense the connection.

Speaking to a Preferred Processing Style

Most people have a preferred mental processing style. Some people favor visual, others auditory and some kinesthetic (movement & touch).

Listen for how people talk and see if they use statements that would give you a clue to their leading style. Listen for things like “this looks good” or “that sounds great” or “this feels right.”

Then, use “sight” words for visual people, “sound” words for auditory and “feeling & tactical” words for kinesthetic. If you don’t know, use multiple sensory words to make sure you are connecting. (For example, re-read the first sentence in the paragraph above this one. Notice if you can see what I did. Subtle, isn’t it…)

Content Chunks

Notice if people are talking about big picture concepts or smaller details. You want to match where they are at. Because, if they are talking about the 10,000 foot view, their mind is in the clouds. Get on their level to build rapport.

Imagine a client who is thinking big picture says “just tell me what I need to do to sell my house” and you start to walk through your 76 point marketing plan. No good. Instead match that big picture request with “we price it competitive and let me execute the marketing plan.” Client is in sync with you.

These are all little, easy to do rapport building tactics that can work in an instant. These will help you develop stronger relationships. With stronger relationships comes more success and joy with your tribe.