What does rapport have to do with world travel? Everything!
Being able to connect with people from all walks of life can lead to the most incredible adventures. I was once sitting in a bar in the Virgin Islands, and my brother and I starting talking to the man next to us.
His name was Mike, and he was a master traveler.
He had already racked up 4 million miles of travel by the year he retired. We started talking about travel and how much we loved exploring and the next thing I know my brother and I where on an all expense paid trip to Australia for 21 days. His wife didn’t want to make the long flight, and he had been looking for the right people to take. It was an amazing gift, one that changed my life. There may have been some dumb luck involved however, things like that happen to me constantly.
Like the time, I got to fly a French fighter jet.
I started talking to a guy on a seaplane between San Juan and St Thomas. It turns out he owned a decommissioned fighter jet and performed in air shows. We had already talked for a few minutes and had a great rapport going. This was all it took to make it happen. The conversation went something like this.
Me: A French fight jet, that sounds incredible, what would it take to get a ride in that thing?
Peter: If you pay for the gas, I will take you up with me.
Me: How much is the gas?
Peter: About $200 for an hour.
Me: (With a huge smile on my face). When can we go?
Two weeks later I got the ride of a lifetime.
Things like this happen frequently when you connect with people, and they catch your enthusiasm. Everyone loves feeling excited and fired up. Most people don’t get that kind of excitement to often. Even though you shouldn’t try to take advantage of people, being able to generate connection and excitement is a very valuable thing in this world. If you can’t contribute in some other way, give people an emotional experience.
5 secrets of rapport I learned from the best
1) Generate incredible connection.
What does that mean? It means you should decide to like them for absolutely no reason. Even better yet constantly look for things you do like about them. This has been difficult at times for me, it used to make me feel important to look down on other people, or notice where I was superior in some way. The truth is my feeling important about myself stopped me from connecting with people at the deepest levels. Fact: You can never fully connect with someone while you look down on them.
2) Direct the conversation.
The first and easiest way to generate a feeling of positive regard is to look for things you either have in common with someone, or at least respect about them. People like people like themselves. People also like people that are the way they want to be. In creating rapport, it also helps to steer them away (with questions) from topics you know you will disagree about. It can be easy to get sucked into an argument and decide to try to feel important, instead of actually connecting with them.
The second step to creating extraordinary rapport is to focus all of your energy on that one thing that you like about them. Whether you realize it or not your communication will change in many ways once you have done that. People are very well trained BS detectors, so your sentiment must be real. If you just pick a topic that they love, and sit there and truly listen you will find most people quickly fall in love with you. Why? They associate all the emotions they feel during your conversation with you. At the end, they will tell you how they feel like they know you so well, even though you haven’t even talked about your self yet. People rarely get this kind of absolute attention in life, and they eat it up. If you listen to them, people will follow you to the end of the earth!
3) Be Insanely Grateful.
We all love to do things for people we know will appreciate them. Gratitude is one of the most powerful emotions we can experience, and one of the greatest gifts you can give people is to help them experience it. I took a friend of mine on a last-minute trip to Hawaii once, because I wanted to go anyway and I knew he would completely appreciate it. Create the emotion in yourself first and then give it to them. All personal communication is a transfer of emotional ENERGY! How can you create a state like this? Simple. Start paying attention to how great your life actually is! Make lists of things (and people) you are grateful for and focus on your list daily. Ask yourself leading questions, like “How did I become so lucky to _______”.
4) Become them!
People have a rhythm! They dance with it. They talk with it. They even have a speed they normally think at. Since people feel 100% comfortable with themselves, it also makes sense that feel comfortable speaking at their own pace. It is simple, don’t speak much faster or slower than the person you are talking to. If you speak too much slower, you will irritate them. Speak to fast and they lose trust in you. Why? They can’t quite understand everything you are saying because people typically listen with the same speed they speak. Not sure if you believe me? Test me out on this. Go talk to someone from Manhattan extremely slowly and see if they enjoy it. When you are traveling you may not always speak the language, but you can still communicate with your tone and your body language. Often that is more than enough.
5) Put them on cloud nine.
There are few things that light people up like a genuine compliment. The key? It has to be completely genuine. If not it can backfire on you. The nice thing is if you stop judging people you can find something real to compliment with almost anyone. We often miss out because our brains are trying to find a reason to feel important. When you connect with people you will end up a lot happier in life then you feeling important just for the moment. Once you find something you really respect or like, let them know.
If you practice these five principals, (which I didn’t invent) you will be blown away at the kind of rapport you can create. There is absolutely no limit to the connections you can make with people. Thanks for reading, Justin