"... rapport, which constitutes a fixed phenomenon of hypnotic trances, may be defined as a state of harmony between the subject and hypnotist…”

"...your patients will be your patients because they are out of rapport with their subconscious mind..."

Milton Erickson

"Rapport is like money: it increases in importance when you do not have it, and when you do have it, a lot of opportunities appear"

Genie Laborde

No matter whether it be a therapy session or business deal, if you are to effectively influence the individual or group before you, they must have the expectation that you are a legitimate agent of change. To do this you will need to extend your projection of rapport beyond the one-on-one relationship of simple social interaction.  Methods of influencing can include pacing, mirroring and other postural and non-verbal communications. You will need to be familiar with representational systems, naturally occurring trance states, analogue marking and other phenomena.

This influencing, this establishing of rapport, utilises commonly occurring and natural behaviours that are an integral part of our everyday communication but it can be employed in a deliberate and purposeful fashion.

Consider, too, the quote from Erickson above - that rapport between conscious and subconscious minds must be achieved in order for healing to occur. We might even consider the therapeutic relationship as the macro representation of this conscious-unconscious rapport.

Therapeutic rapport

Rapport begins with the first introduction and grows as meaningful contact is established between individuals. Rapport instils trust, inspires confidence, engenders comfort and security and should be experienced by each party to a communication whether this be expressed verbally or non-verbally. Indeed, non-verbal behaviours account for most of our face to face communications. This unspoken projection of rapport can be enhanced by using the techniques of mirroring, attending, questioning, responding and pacing. In the next section we will go further into how these techniques are useful.

Even if you simply measure the tempo of your voice to the rate of your subject’s breathing, that can be an important part in building rapport. Simply observing and mirroring responses and minimal cues in a subject’s ongoing behaviour can create rapport.

Q - Therapeutic rapport and social rapport are two different things. How would you differentiate the two?