CIA Institute

April 12, 2010

Mode Magic – Building Rapport

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 2:27 pm

Visuals, auditories, and kinesthetics all build rapport differently.  In building rapport,  it is important to remember that “we like who we’re like.” This means that rapport develops easiest between people exhibiting common modes of communication.

If you prefer communicating in the visual mode, you will find it relatively easy to get along with other visuals. However, as a visual you are at a disadvantage when trying to gain the favor of auditories and kinesthetics.  For example, a visual might greet someone with an eyebrow raise and brief smile. This would be perceived as a proper greeting by another visual, however auditories and kinesthetics would not perceive this as an adequate greeting. The auditory would likely prefer to hear the words “Hello”, or  “How are you today?” The kinesthetic might not consider it a complete greeting without a welcoming handshake or even hug.

So what can we do to gain rapport with those who have a different mode preference than us? The answer is a communication tactic called “mirroring”. Mirroring requires that you first discover the other person’s mode preference. Once ascertained, you should direct your communication to favor their preference. If auditory, speak with pleasing words in a pleasant tone. If kinesthetic, touch liberally and speak slowly focusing on the feelings conveyed during the interaction. If visual, be concerned primarily with how you look while interacting and use more body language less verbal words. Speaking quickly, in bursts of speech, sentence fragments and animated hand movements enhances visual rapport.  Long, run-on sentences are a no-no when attempting rapport with a visual.

Even the words we use can influence rapport. Auditories respond to words like, “hear”, “listen”, loud, silence, “How does it sound?”, “…music to my ears”, “…loud and clear”, etc. Visuals use words like, “see, saw, visualize, look, watch-out, notice, …my point of view, …as I see it, observe”, etc. Kinesthetics use words such as, feel, hold-on, solid, grasp, heavy heart, comfortable, it pains me…, close-by, gentle, …cold as ice, smooth it over, etc.

Mirroring communication modes contrary to your preference requires practice. In time, you will become familiar with the behaviors and preferences of all the modes. If you study popular communicators, you will find that they possess unusual rapport building skills.

Few people attempt to adapt their communication to their audience’s preference, so your ability to do this will raise your status as a communicator to a higher, more respected level and who they like will be you!

Powered by WordPress