Communication is an essential part of our working and social lives. Creating a strong rapport makes communication much easier. Here are six simple tips to help you build rapport more effectively. 1 – Be approachable and friendly. Just being open and empathetic can get you a long way. Making people want to interact with you is half the battle. 2 – Create small talk and find common ground. Discover something that you both have an interest in or a similar opinion about. We tend to open up to people who like us but also to people who are similar to us. Genuine interest is recognisable; never feign interest as, if it is noticed, it can negatively impact on the other person’s opinion of you. Authenticity is crucial. 3 – The age old saying “treat others as you would want to be treated” rings true. If you respect others and empathise with their position, thoughts and/or opinions, you stand a much better chance at building a genuine relationship with them. Focus on what you can do for them rather than what they can do for you. 4 – Listen. It’s staggering how little listening we actually do despite knowing first-hand that we like to be listened to. Giving people the time to say what they want before you start to speak is very important. Active listening is rare especially when you have something you really want to say. Try to stop listening for the gaps in speech to make your point and listen instead to the things being said. 5 – Reciprocation and manners. If someone says or does something that is thoughtful, kind or helpful then return the favour whenever the time feels right, or graciously accept and say “thank you”. Good manners cost nothing and are surprisingly thin on the ground. 6 – Not all rapport is instant. Delivering on promises made will help prove that you are trustworthy – being honest and managing the expectations of someone you are making your promises to will help to show that you have paid attention to, and fully understood, their needs.