I included this quote/pic of Maya Angelou in a session I ran recently on emotional intelligence (EQ). One of the key components of EQ as you’re no doubt aware is establishing rapport and connecting with others, to our mutual benefit, and I’d like to share a few suggestions and ideas here about how we might go about doing this.
These social skills, and indeed being emotionally intelligent in general, are likely to help us perform to the best of our ability both at work and outside work, and encourage the same in others.
So, what messages do we wish to convey when we’re conversing/interacting with others to establish rapport and connect? Here are a few examples:
✨“I respect you
✨I accept you
✨I’m minded to like you
✨I’m interested in you
✨I understand you
✨I value you
✨I hear you
✨I have time for you
✨We share common ground
✨I get you
✨I am with you”
Some of these we can convey to a greater or lesser degree, depending on the nature of the conversation/discussion.
How to communicate these messages? Some non-verbal cues include: appropriate eye contact; smiling; body language; undivided attention; nodding; mirroring.
The beauty of this process and dynamic is that if we can get our messages across, then the person we’re talking with is likely to give more of themselves, feel comfortable and encouraged, and feel able to express themselves, and be more engaged and therefore engaging, feel interested in and therefore interesting. This is obviously something that we can all experience, when someone behaves in this way towards us.
It’s not always possible, but rapport is established quickly and effectively, isn’t it, when this sort of messaging is reciprocal, two-way, and the circumstances and context are appropriate and allow it?
In the organisational context, we would do well to encourage and foster a culture where such emotionally intelligent exchanges were the norm.