It Takes Two to Tango – Jan 12

By Diana Turnip

W hat do you want to achieve in your workplace in 2012? Obviously, we desire a significant achievement which is better than the previous year. To help us to achieve our goal this year, let’s start the year by learning the art of communication.

Communication is just like a dance. Not everyone can dance, especially when it comes to tango. In tango, the female dancer should trust and follow the lead of the male dancer. The similar thing happens in our workplace. Not everyone can communicate well, therefore we need to learn to build rapport. In rapport building, we need to trust the one who lead. Just like tango, the way to build rapport is pace… pace… pace… lead. So, when you communicate, wait until the people are ready for you to lead them.

As quoted from Matthew 7:12, “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”, rapport building is based on finding similarities with the other person. Eventhough you may not be like them, if you can relate to their situation or circumstances and communicate this, you will find that you can capture their attention. Their respect will follow – based on the accuracy of your insights and the value of your suggestions or solutions that you present to meet their needs. The more you are able to empathize, the greater the chance for you to build trust and respect with the people you are working with.

However, this rapport building process must not be obvious to the parties involved. It must be subtle and invisible. The reason why this should occur at an ‘unconscious level’ is that should the other person be aware that you are ‘trying’ to build rapport, you might come across as being insincere and not genuine. This can hinder your relationship building process.

Rapport building is not difficult. However, many people don’t prepare themselves when they communicate with others.

Here are some questions you may want to ask yourself when you communicate with other people:

1. What is the position of this person?

2. What are his responsibilities?

3. What is likely to be the most important thing happening at the moment?

4. What is the ‘front of mind’ for him at the moment?

5. What would he need to hear to be influenced?

6. What claims can I make that would ‘solve’ his problems?

7. How can I relate to this person’s situation?

When you do this, you will have the advantage of rapport building and developing a greater level of trust and respect from the people at your workplace.

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