So we've most probably all used the term 'they're on my wavelength' or something pretty similar. What does this actually mean though, is there a logic behind it as such a widely used quote? The answer to that is, yes.
When interacting with others subconsciously we will adopt poses and alter our body language. Showing closeness with another person is known as rapport. Rapport is key in many situations of our daily lives but one pretty valuable for us all is within the workplace.
Having rapport in the workplace is vital in order to build relationships and maintain these over time. These relationships then work towards successful communication and trust. It is far easier to build rapport with someone who has similar interests or beliefs, hence the statement 'they're on my wavelength' however this may not always be the case within our working environment. This is not to say that in this instance it is not important and simply if we don't share similar values then there can be no rapport.
In a situation where common interests may be lacking, it is vital to build rapport through a more conscious manner. You do not have to share the same values and beliefs as someone but by showing a respect for another persons beliefs can kick start the building of a stronger and more valuable relationship. Communication is one of the main skills an employer would look for and for communication to be successful, we must have rapport.
Ever had that sense of awkwardness when talking to someone? Again, were coming back to the whole theme of this post, that 'R' word. Another method to try would be to match someone's gestures in order to help reduce awkwardness. You can begin to make observations about a persons body language and begin to patch their posture. For example, in the world of teaching, if a child is sitting on the carpet cross legged whilst speaking to me, I could match this posture by copying the way they are sitting in order to help that child feel more at ease and begin to gain more trust.
If we become more conscious about the way we communicate with others both verbally and non-verbally we can begin to alter the ways in which people behave around us. Gaining trust is a core element of a successful relationship. This is only a snapshot of how to begin to develop rapport, so by no means am I suggesting these are the simple steps in which we should all follow. More as a way to open up and challenge thinking about how those more tricky relationships could be built upon positively.
Rapport as a skill can be used in a number of ways, you can use it to help with negotiations, being a better leader or a coach, it can help resolve conflicts and in essence help enhance any interaction with another person.