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NLP, like every other major scientific discipline, has its own sets of models. These models serve as lenses that change the way the world looks when you look through them. And with NLP, you look at the world in a way that unlocks your personal resources as a Practitioner.
As Richard Bandler once put it, “NLP is an attitude and a methodology that leaves behind a trail of techniques.” And so it is. The more you start to ease yourself into the mindset, the easier it becomes to leverage the technology and the skills.
Speaking of which, you’re reading this because you’re curious about the Number 2 NLP Skill You Must Master, aren’t you?
Our NLP term for today is rapport. When you learn NLP, the skill of rapport comes up rapidly among the critical skills to master. However, just like anchoring, rapport is both a concept and a skill in NLP. Let’s explore its meaning in a bit more depth.
As a concept in NLP, rapport is a key component of human relationships and usually takes place at a nearly unconscious level. Rapport is often mistaken to be a relationship of “trust”, of “liking” or of similarity between people. In most texts I’ve read on rapport, the author reflects that meaning of rapport.
If you dig deeper into the roots of rapport as a concept, back to the founders of NLP and even their master, Milton Erickson, pioneered the field of conversational hypnosis, you might be surprised to learn that rapport has little to do with trust. Quite the opposite is true: trust is just one of the possible by-products of rapport.
So what is rapport?
In NLP, we consider two people to have rapport when they are in a relationship of responsiveness, mainly unconscious in nature.
What does that mean?
It means that people in rapport find themselves in “sync” or on the same “wavelength”. By this, I don’t mean that they trust one another or that they agree with one another. I simply mean that they pay attention to one another, even if only unconsciously.
A thief that pulls out a gun and points it at someone’s head will instantly gain rapport, albeit not manifested in trust.
A cop that pulls you over will instantly have rapport, albeit generally not trust nor liking.
This responsiveness will manifest itself when one of the people in rapport leads and the others follow. This means they are in sync.
As a skill in NLP, rapport consists in developing the ability to captivate and then lead people’s unconscious attention.
NLP Trainers teach a number of techniques that supposedly help build rapport such as:
• Matching postures,
• Matching gestures,
• Establishing eye contact;
• Matching breathing rhythm.
• Matching tone of voice.
And yet, all of these are generally only symptoms that rapport has been established. In future articles, we’ll discuss the roots of rapport and how to establish it more simply and directly.
OK! So you’re learning NLP and you want to use a specific pattern on yourself or a buddy or a client to change a behavior or an unpleasant feeling. Of course, you’ll find A LOT of patterns from which to choose if you surf the web for just a few minutes. And it’s good that you learn as many change pattern as you can, because each pattern serves a specific function. Just as you use a hammer to drive in a nail or a saw to split a piece of wood in two (or three or four) pieces, you use a pattern to achieve a specific goal.
Now, there’s one piece you MUST learn to include in any piece of NLP or other changework if you want to achieve results right now.
Want to know who your best NLP training partners will ever be? Your kids!
Ever since my children were born I’ve been introducing NLP to them. And you know what? They are amazing at it, both at responding and at using it. And they can be an astonishing source of development for your NLP skills. Here are 5 reasons for this:
Ten years ago, I gave a shot to selling time share or, as they now call it, vacation ownership (talk about a reframe). This was my first sales job ever. And as you might guess, I sucked at it. And I quit.
The problem was, I had no training whatsoever. Not in sales. Let alone in NLP.
It pissed me off to see clients get up and leave and not buy. It frustrated me to have to go in to work every day not knowing why I was there or what I was to expect. It annoyed me to watch some of the other salespeople in the organization striking the bell and announcing a sale when I believed I was working my tail off for nothing.