- >Chris Harrison
- 1st December 2008
Socially, rapport often occurs between people of similar ages, or same cultural background, or even sex when in groups in which they are not comfortable.
In Hypnosis, rapport is an important way of gaining the trust of a client, allowing the hypnotist to lead them into specific states. Through Rapport training it's an easy skill to develop.
How do you get rapport?
There are a number of different ways to get rapport. The simplest way to begin your rapport training is body matching whereby you copy the clients body posture - for instance if they lean forward, you lean forward, if they rest their head on their hands then so do you.
Matching language is a very useful form of rapport - this can be achieved by matching sensory predicates. When it comes to speech it is also very useful to match the rate and volume in speech.
Socially it is often obvious that some people adjust their style of speech depending upon who they are talking to, changing their diction and amount of swearing according to the perceived 'class' of whom ever they are talking to.
Probably the most powerful form of rapport is through matching the rate of breathing of the client. This is also the easiest way to lead a client - simply match the clients breathing for a while and then change your rate and see if the client follows.
When matching breathing it is important to avoid staring at the clients chest (for obvious reasons). Luckily this is not the easiest way to spot someone's breathing.
The best way is to use your peripheral vision which is good for picking up movement. To do this, rather than look at the person, you keep them within the blurry part of your vision off to one site. With a bit of practice it is easy to pickup and match breathing in this way.
Cross-over mirroring is a slightly different approach to rapport whereby rather than copy something exactly, it is mirrored through a different 'channel'. For instance you could match someone's breathing through raising and lowering your hand.
How do you know when you have rapport?
The easiest way to test your rapport is by moving from pacing to leading. For instance you could match someones blinking rate, and then blink yourself and see if they follow, but usually you will know if you have rapport because you will feel it.
Once you have started developing your rapport skills and got well into your own rapport training, you will want to move on to Pacing and Leading.