For some, connecting with strangers is easy. We all know people who can meet a new person and seem like their best friend within a moment.
We also all know the opposite person. You know, the person who always says the wrong thing and puts off new people to the point where conversations end quickly.
You may even be one of those people.
Not enough people stop and ask what the difference is between these groups of people. What’s the difference? The skill of building rapport. In my last post I discussed how to build rapport using the VAK modalities – but the ideas I’m going to discuss here are even more simple and still incredibly high impact: Matching and mirroring.
At some point in your life you may have heard the concept of being a visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learner. We all have a preference for how we process the information the world is giving us. Some people learn by watching or looking, some people by listening, and others by feeling or doing.
This is good to know about yourself and if you’re a teacher it’s good to be familiar with this from an educational perspective, but for EVERYONE there is a much bigger picture here if you are willing to go just one level deeper.
My wife and I often talk about how we read books. Not just that we read books, but how we process the books we are reading. She was astonished by the fact that I’m not constantly creating mental pictures of every scene in every book. I try to explain to her that I process the information auditorily like someone is reading the information and I am remembering what was said or what is happening. There are exceptions to this – sometimes a book is so gripping or vivid that my mind will make pictures that will enhance my experience. Knowing this it makes sense that we often read different types of books – I like to read books on personal development, philosophy, and theology while she loves to get immersed in dystopian sci-fi novels. And when you think about our reading differences, that makes perfect sense.
The term “life coach,” on it’s own is kind of a silly or ridiculous sounding term or job. It takes a while for a seemingly absurd term like that to roll off your tongue when people ask what you do (and a complicated conversation almost always ensues if you're talking to one who has not been initiated into the coaching world).
Fittingly, almost every idea that has come out of the field of personal development has been seen as ridiculous (though some of them are now completely normal).
Can you imagine 50 years ago telling a Don Draperesque CEO to keep a gratitude journal every day? Now it’s not uncommon for high powered individuals to seek every edge – whether that be hypnosis, Tony Robbins’ seminars, ice-cold showers every morning, or any other number of “ridiculous” things.
Recently, I got to attend Tony Robbin’s Unleash the Power Within Virtual experience, and I was reminded at just how ridiculous this field can be. After all, you’ve got tens of thousands of people dancing for hours a day in front of their computer monitors in between motivational speeches, strategy sessions, and small groups where you share your feelings, fears, and goals with complete strangers who might not even speak the same language.
Growing up I was not the type of person who would ever voluntarily sign up for an experience like that. Heck, I didn’t even want to dance at my school dances because I was too scared of looking “uncool.” I probably wasn’t a good dancer and thus didn’t want to look ridiculous. Sorry to all my high school girlfriends, by the way. My fear robbed us all of a lot of fun experiences.
Your life coach.
The Andrew Warner Podcast: