NLP Part 2 - How to Connect With Others?

The ability to establish a connection and build a relationship of trust and understanding with another person in Neuro-Linguistic Programming is called Rapport. It involves being in sync with the other person's communication style, behavior, and preferences, and creating a comfortable and cooperative environment for communication.


Building rapport is important in NLP because it helps to establish a positive relationship between the practitioner and the client, making it easier to work together and achieve the desired outcomes. When there is rapport between two individuals, there is a greater level of trust and openness, which can help to facilitate communication, influence, and persuasion.

NLP provides several techniques for building rapport, including:

  • Mirroring and Matching: This involves subtly matching the other person's behavior, such as their body language, tone of voice, and communication style. By doing this, the other person is more likely to feel understood and validated, which helps to build rapport.
  • Pacing and Leading: This involves starting with what the other person is doing or saying (pacing) and gradually leading them towards the desired outcome. By pacing the other person's behavior or communication style, it becomes easier to influence and guide them towards the desired outcome.
  • Calibration: This involves being aware of the other person's nonverbal cues, such as facial expressions and body language, and adjusting one's own behavior and communication style accordingly. By being calibrated to the other person, it is easier to build rapport and establish a connection.

Building rapport is an important aspect of NLP as it helps to create a positive and cooperative environment for communication and can help individuals achieve their goals more effectively.

Is Rapport manipulation?

No, creating rapport in NLP is not manipulation of others. It is a process of building a positive connection and trust with others, based on mutual respect and understanding. The purpose of rapport building is to establish a comfortable and safe environment for effective communication and mutual influence, not to control or manipulate others. In fact, creating rapport requires genuine interest and empathy towards others and their experiences, and a willingness to listen and respond to their needs and concerns. Therefore, while some of the techniques used in creating rapport may seem similar to manipulation techniques, the underlying intent and approach are fundamentally different.

Mirroring and Matching are techniques to build rapport.

Mirroring and Matching in NLP

Mirroring and Matching are techniques used in NLP to build rapport and improve communication by matching someone's non-verbal behavior. The concept is based on the idea that people like people who are like themselves, and by matching someone's non-verbal behavior, we can create a unconscious connection with them.

Mirroring involves matching the non-verbal behavior of the other person, such as their posture, gestures, and facial expressions. Matching, on the other hand, involves matching the tone, pace, and language patterns of the other person.

For example, if someone is sitting with their legs crossed, you could cross your legs as well. If they're leaning forward, you could lean forward too. If they're talking slowly, you could slow down your speech as well. If they're using certain words or phrases repeatedly, you could try to incorporate those into your language as well.

Here are a few more examples:

  • If someone smiles frequently during a conversation, you could smile as well to match their positive energy.
  • If someone is using a lot of hand gestures, you could use hand gestures as well to match their level of expressiveness.
  • If someone is speaking softly, you could also lower your voice to match their tone and volume.

The idea is not to mimic the other person exactly but to create a sense of similarity and connection through subtle mirroring and matching of their non-verbal behavior.

Pacing and Leading in NLP

Pacing and Leading is a technique in NLP used to build rapport and influence people. Pacing means matching the other person's behavior, whereas leading means gradually changing the behavior to achieve a specific outcome. The idea behind this technique is that if you match someone's behavior and then gradually change it, they are more likely to follow your lead and adopt your behavior.

For example, if you are trying to build rapport with someone, you can start by pacing their body language, tone of voice, and even their breathing. This means that you will adopt a similar posture, tone of voice, and pace of breathing to the other person. Once you have established rapport, you can start leading the conversation in the direction you want it to go.

Another example of pacing and leading is in a sales situation. If you are trying to sell a product, you can start by pacing the customer's objections and concerns. You can acknowledge their concerns and empathize with their situation. Once you have established rapport, you can start leading the conversation towards the benefits of your product and how it can solve their problems.

Calibration in NLP

Calibration is an important concept in NLP that involves the ability to read and interpret the nonverbal communication of others, such as body language, tone of voice, and facial expressions, in order to gain information about their internal states and feelings.

The term "calibration" refers to the process of adjusting one's own behavior or communication style in response to the nonverbal cues of others. This involves paying close attention to the signals that people give off in order to establish rapport and communicate more effectively.

Calibration can be used in a variety of contexts, including business, sales, negotiation, therapy, and coaching. In a business setting, for example, an effective leader must be able to read the nonverbal cues of team members to determine their level of engagement, motivation, and commitment to the organization. In a therapeutic context, a practitioner may use calibration to identify a client's emotional state and tailor their approach to best support them.

The ability to calibrate effectively is an essential skill for anyone looking to improve their communication, build better relationships, and become more persuasive and influential in their interactions with others.

Calibration exercises in NLP

Calibration exercises in NLP are techniques used to to increase an individual's ability to accurately interpret and respond to the non-verbal cues they encounter in interpersonal communication.

Some common calibration exercises in NLP include:

  • Eye Accessing Cues: This exercise involves observing a person's eye movements to determine which represent different types of thinking, such as visual, auditory, or kinesthetic thinking.
  • Matching and Mirroring: This exercise involves mimicking the body language, speech patterns, and vocal tone of another person to establish rapport and build trust.
  • Sensory Acuity: This exercise involves developing a heightened awareness of subtle changes in a person's behavior, such as breathing rate, skin color, and muscle tension.
  • State Elicitation: This exercise involves observing a person's behavior to determine their emotional state, and then using specific language patterns to help them shift into a more resourceful emotional state.

Where is rapport beneficial?

Rapport from NLP can be beneficial in various areas such as:

  1. Building relationships: By establishing rapport, individuals can build trust and a sense of connection with others, which can lead to stronger relationships.
  2. Sales and Marketing: Salespeople can use rapport to connect with potential clients and build trust, which can help increase sales.
  3. Negotiation: Building rapport with the other party can help create a more cooperative and collaborative atmosphere, which can lead to successful negotiations.
  4. Leadership: Leaders who can establish rapport with their team can build stronger relationships, increase motivation and morale, and improve overall performance.
  5. Teaching and Training: Teachers and trainers who use rapport can create a more engaging and supportive learning environment, which can lead to better retention and understanding of the material.

Overall, building rapport can help create a more positive and productive atmosphere in many different situations.

Would you like to learn the techniques of rapport for yourself? Contact us here for free 30 minute session and let's discuss it together.

The Part 3 of the series about NLP focuses on of the main pillars of NLP - Language. Continue with Part 3 here.

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