5-1 Chapter 5: Rapport Skills Videos & Bonus Activities

This chapter gave you some very valuable information about rapport. Rapport is one of the most important elements in relationships of all kinds. It’s also one of the most important skills you can master in NLP. The way we use rapport in NLP is a bit different from the common usage, so for all of these reasons it is really worth spending a little bit more of your time on it.

As John Grinder, co-creator of NLP, once said “To do NLP you need three things: Rapport, an Outcome, and a Ritual.”

You learned a lot about outcomes and you’ll get even more, in the area of Meta-Outcomes in the next chapter. You’ve experienced a number of NLP processes (“rituals” in Grinder speak) and we have more for you.

So here are a number of short clips to show you ways you can build deep and profound rapport. Take them a little at a time, or all at once, or both. You’ll enjoy what you get. The way we use rapport in NLP is a bit different from the common usage.

Introduction to Rapport

Match-MisMatch Demonstration

Review of Match-MisMatch Demonstration

Review of Match-MisMatch Exercise

Introduction to Auditory Pacing and Leading

Auditory Pacing and Leading Demonstration

Auditory Pacing and Leading Review of Demonstration, Exercise Guidelines

Auditory Pacing and Leading Review of Exercise


Wow, we really did fill this chapter with a lot of good stuff. Perceptual Positions are another really useful concept, and the ability to recognize where you’re at and where they’re at in this regard is really useful. So here’s a video clip for you! 🙂

Chapter 5: Key Ideas

  • We all process experience in a similar way, yet because our experiences are different, we create different inner worlds, different “maps” of how the world works.
  • As we drop our automatic filters and preconceived notions about others, we can become a clear receiver, which allows us to really experience their reality.
  • Being the way each of us is is a choice. We can always choose to rewire ourselves – strengthening a quality we already have – or borrowing (“Modeling”) one from someone who has a quality we admire. And, if we don’t like a change we made, we can change it again to make it better.
  • Getting feedback from other people about what they’d like us to keep doing, stop doing, and start doing offers us helpful insights that may enable us to improve our interactions and relationships.
  • There are three layers of the brain – the reptile brain, the mammalian brain, and then, the neocortex. Each layer performs a different job – affecting our chemistry and ability to reason.
  • Because many people don’t feel “seen” and “validated”, these feelings can affect their interactions.
  • Shifting between the three perceptual positions, as appropriate, can increase one’s effectiveness. It’s best practice to operate from first position so we know what we see and feel. Then, we can briefly visit second position to try on something from someone else’s point of view, or go to third position to get more complete and objective information.
  • Because the brain generalizes, our initial impressions are gathered in a process called GGNEE. We immediately notice someone’s gender, generation (age), nationality (ethnicity), educational (socioeconomic) level, and then we imagine what emotions they’re having.
  • People who are masterful at connecting with others, manage their inner state and focus on the other person so they don’t bring any personal uneasiness into their interaction.
  • Making someone else feel safe, interesting, and “felt” are critical steps to being good company.
  • Making someone feel safe, interesting, and “felt” can be accomplished by asking questions about what someone does or likes to do, why that’s important to them, and potentially confirming any emotions that came up for them.
  • Paying attention to how the other person is responding to our efforts to engage enables us to “zoom out” (visit third position) and access if we’re out of sync and make adjustments, especially when we have intense feelings.
  • To get in rapport, people subtly mirror the person they’re interacting with sometimes matching their body language, rate of speech, or breathing (among other things), while   careful not to mimic the other person.
  • Honoring personal space requirements and making meaningful (but not invasive) eye contact can help us make someone feel safe, yet “seen”.
  • Being focused on the other person and being versatile in how we communicate gives us more options about how to respond, especially in difficult situations.
  • Cooling someone off can actually be easy. Taking the following five steps can defuse the emotional charge in a situation and make it possible to restore harmony.
  • Confirm an emotion. “I’ve got this feeling that you’re X (angry or upset or sad). Is that true?”
  • Gauge how big this is for them, and allow them to vent, to get it all out. “How upset are you?”     or “The reason you’re so upset is because…”
  • Determine what they need to move forward, allowing them to go inside and find out what they want. “What needs to happen for that feeling to feel better?”
  • Identify what they’d like you to do. “What part can I play in making that happen?”
  • Explore what steps they need to take to feel better. “What part can you play in making that happen?”

Bonus Activities

  • When you’re participating in a meeting, sitting in a restaurant, waiting at the airport, or watching an interview on TV, observe how people are interacting. Notice what you can discern about the level of agreement based on their body language, facial expressions, etc. Do people seem to be in natural rapport or out of sync.
  • Play with that slightly extended gaze and looking directly at the people when you say please and thank you. Try not to over do it. If you do, you’ll know. All of us have a fine internal monitor and we can tell exactly what’s too long or too little. Most of us just get preoccupied and we don’t look long enough.
  • Experiment with physical distance in your interactions. Notice how being too close or too far away changes the feeling of the connection.
  • Practice subtly mirroring someone’s body language, rate of speech, or breathing to see how it enhances the other person’s comfort with you.
  • Using the keep, stop, start approach, get feedback from others about how you are, and aren’t, good company.
  • Review the list you made of what makes someone good company and what makes you good company. Compare this list to the feedback you received. Then, pick one aspect you’d like to improve during the next five days, and work on it so you can help people feel safer, more interesting, and “felt” when they’re in your company.
  • As you develop even more effective interpersonal habits, identify additional ways of being that you’d like to integrate into how you engage with other people. As you make these changes, notice how your experience of being with others is changing, and how others are relating to you.
  • Revisit the pre-suppositions at the end of Chapter 1. Notice which ones focus on dealing with yourself and which ones are more about dealing with other people.

Comments (2)

I used chapter 5 to decrease fighting with my wife sucessfully

Thank you for sharing. This was an extremely enlightening extract and timely for me. I am a life coach in training and have been given the opportunity to work with kids in my son’s school. These seven to nine year olds come from varying backgrounds and demonstared an increase in aggressive behaviour recently. I needed to find a way to reach their ‘world’ to understand and connect with them.

I am scheduled to have a session later today and I am looking forward to utilizing these learnings in my effort to establish rapport with these little guys and so cause a change in their behaviour over time.



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