Peter’s couple therapy blog

Re-build rapport and trust

Steps to rebuilding trust may be the same as starting a new relationship. Even in long term committed relationships, partners can become strangers to each other. More so when there has been a breach of trust.

It can be awkward to start again. What should you say? How do you keep a conversation going? What’s the best way to build rapport and create trust?

Here are 7 Ways From An FBI Behavior Expert Robin Derek It’s Not All About “Me”: The Top Ten Techniques for Building Quick Rapport with Anyone.

1. The single most important thing is non-judgmental validation. “The number one strategy I constantly keep in the forefront of my mind with everyone I talk to is non-judgmental validation. Seek someone else’s thoughts and opinions without judging them. People do not want to be judged in any thought or opinion that they have or in any action that they take. It doesn’t mean you agree with someone. Validation is taking the time to understand what their needs, wants, dreams and aspirations are.”
2. Suspend your ego. Focus on them. Most of us are just dying to point out how other people are wrong. And it kills rapport. Contradicting people doesn’t build relationships.
3. Really listen, don’t just wait to talk. Ask them questions; don’t try to come up with stories to impress. Listening isn’t shutting up. “Listening is having nothing to say. There’s a difference there. If you just shut up, it means you’re still thinking about what you wanted to say. You’re just not saying it. The second that I think about my response, I’m half listening to what you’re saying because I’m really waiting for the opportunity to tell you my story.”
4. Ask people about what’s been challenging them. It gets people to share what their priorities in life are at that point in time.
5. Establishing a time constraint early in the conversation can put strangers at ease. (Research) results showed that compliance rates were higher when the requester inquired about respondents’ availability and waited for a response than when he pursued his set speech without waiting and inquiring about respondents’ availability.
6. “The number one thing is you’ve gotta smile. You absolutely have to smile. A smile is a great way to engender trust. Keep that chin angle down so it doesn’t appear like you’re looking down your nose at anyone. And if you can show a little bit of a head tilt, that’s always wonderful. You don’t want to give a full frontal, full body display. That could be very offensive to someone. Give a little bit of an angle. Keep your palms up as you’re talking, as opposed to palms down. That says, “I’m hearing what you’re saying. I’m open to what your ideas are.”
7. How To Deal With Someone You Don’t Trust. If you think someone is trying to manipulate you, clarify goals. Don’t be hostile or aggressive, but ask them to be straight about what they want. “I watch for validation. If someone is trying to validate me and my thoughts and opinions, I am alert to it. I love doing that as well. So now I’m looking for intent. Are you there for me or are you there for you? If you are there strictly for your own gain and you’re not talking in terms of my priorities ever, that’s when I’m seeing someone is there to manipulate me.”
Want to build a connection with someone? Focus on trust, not tricks. That’s how you earn respect. Trust is fragile. And mistrust is self-fulfilling.
When you ask people what the most important character trait is, what do they say? Trustworthiness.

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