Regardless of what role you have in the CRE field, the ability to build rapport among your colleagues is crucial. Not only does it help propel your career, but it also lubricates and strengthens team connections and interaction.
However, while this is a skill that comes naturally for some, others must learn how to build these strong connections and affinity. Fortunately, with just a few simple tricks up your sleeve, virtually anyone can build rapport with fellow CRE professionals and co-workers.
What Is Rapport?
One of the cornerstone skills needed in commercial real estate is business communication. And workplace rapport is the technique of opening up more effective communication through relationships and understanding.
Sometimes referred to as a connection or spark, rapport is what makes people more likely to listen to you and give your idea a chance. In this reciprocal relationship, your colleagues better understand your point of view, are more inclined to trust and like you, and will generally feel at ease around you.
This matters so much in a workplace environment, because our own success in business is often dependent upon others. And the success of the company or organization as a whole is dependent upon our ability to collaborate and work together.
Rapport in the office makes these collaborations and interactions more effective and productive. This vital interpersonal communication and business asset allows us to more effectively exchange thoughts and ideas in many aspects of our job. Whether it’s selling, negotiating, interviewing, or any other form of interaction, our ability to build rapport and foster eager cooperation is vital in many scenarios.
Secrets to Workplace Rapport
If you want to improve your ability to build rapport, internalize these techniques. Practice them. Develop them. And then begin implementing them across your workplace interactions as you see your success in communication improve.
1. Actively Listen
Active listening is a powerful communication hack that allows you to better understand those around you so you may better relate to them. By being present in the conversation, looking people in the eye, listening to understand rather than respond, and noticing non-verbal cues, you will become a better listener. In turn, you will better understand the intent behind the words as well as the kind of person you are dealing with.
And here’s the secret: when others feel you have truly heard them, they will like you more.
2. Don’t Overlook Casual Conversation
Especially in a workplace environment, it can be tempting to overlook casual chit chat. After all, this is business. And you don’t want to waste time, yours or theirs. But casual conversation is a powerful lubricator and rapport builder.
If you are interviewing for a job and the interviewer starts with some casual small talk, this is your chance to find commonalities and better relate. If your co-worker drops by to check on a project, mention what you did over the weekend or bring up the game their favorite team just played. If not carried to extremes, these little moments of casual banter are the building blocks of strong relationships and rapport.
3. Spend Quality Time
When appropriate, schedule quality time with workplace contacts. Going to lunch or having a genuine talk in the lunch room can take your casual connections to the next level.
4. Ask Good Questions
Especially early in a relationship or at networking events, your ability to ask creative questions will help you shortcut the relationship building process. Here are some helpful questions to bring up:
- What subject would you most like to be an expert in?
- If someone were to say you had a superpower, what would it be?
- What kind of books do you like reading?
- What are some skills you learned as a child that you continue to use today?
- What’s your personality type?
- What’s your proudest accomplishment?
5. Be Genuine
Nothing can put a damper on a relationship like inauthenticity. If there is a hint of being fake or trying to present yourself in the best light, it will hamper your rapport. Above all, be authentic.
If you can’t find common ground that you are truly interested in, then learn more about an interest of theirs to become genuinely interested in it. Don’t pretend to be the expert, but open yourself up to learning about their passion.
This sets you up for some great questions. And you’ll both learn more about each other in the process.