Thursday, August 14, 2008

Opposites Don't Attract - Azara Feroz Sayed

Thought about putting this down as I posted last time on building relationships - I remembered these words about the importance of building relationships from the book "Unlimited Power" by Anthony Robbins People are your most important resource. No matter what you want in your life, if you can develop rapport with people, you'll be able to fill their needs, and they will be able to fill yours. There is someone else who can help us accomplish our goals more quickly and easily by providing us their expertise and assistance.

Below site has the summary for 'Unlimited Power' - I used the contents from Chapter 13 ( The Magic of Rapport) for this post

If we remember a time when we met someone for the first time and we were completely in Sync. If we go back and try to think what it was about the person that made us feel so attuned to him/her. Chances are that both of us thought alike, or felt the same way about a movie, book, experience or had similar beliefs, or maybe our beliefs or background were same. The common-ness between two people creates instant bond - rapport!

According to Anthony Robbins, "Opposites attract", Like most things that are false has an element of truth. When people have enough in common, the elements of difference add excitement to things! I couldn't agree more when I think about my relationship with Feroz. As Anthony says, Feroz sees the world much the way I do and even adds to my perspective.

For "Opposite attract" to be true, we never think of the person we can't stand and say, "He thinks just like me". Anthony Robbins questions, "Why would we spend time with someone who disagrees with us on everything","Do people form clubs of people who are different from them" or "Why do most americans feel better about English than Iranians". Americans and English have the same religion, same justice system, same language etc. The problems results from the way the Americans and Iranians are different. When we have problems it is due to people focussing on "differences" rather than similiarity. The way to go from discord to harmony is to go from concentrating on differences to concentrating on similiarities.

One of the most important things we can do in interpersonal communications is to learn how to build excellent rapport. The basic premise of rapport is that people like people who are like themselves. The more two people have in common, the more likely they are to hit it off. Achieving rapport goes a long way towards establishing friendships, enhancing relationships, closing sales, and even getting along better with the in-laws.

Rapport is the ultimate tool for producing results with other people by building a bond instantly. Since we know that we get along well with people who are like us. We build rapport by discovering what the other person is like and changing ourselves to match them. This process is referred to in NLP as "mirroring" or "matching."

When rapport works, we feel totally in sync with the other person and the conversation flows effortlessly. Achieving excellent rapport is much more enjoyable than fidgeting awkwardly with hands in pockets, avoiding eye contact and talking about the weather. Rapport is about establishing an environment of trust and understanding, to respect and honor the other person’s world. This allows the person the freedom to fully express their ideas and feelings and know they’ll be respected and appreciated. Rapport creates the space for the person to feel listened and responded to, even when we dis-agree with what the other person says or does. Each person appreciates the other’s viewpoint and respects their model of the world. When we are in rapport with another person, we have the opportunity to enter their world and see things from their perspective, feel the way they do, get a better understanding of where they are coming from; and as a result, enhance the whole relationship. The magical bond that unites people and makes them feel like partners.

We know that only 7% of what is communicated between people is transmitted through words, 38% comes through the tone of voice, 55% of communication, the largest part, is the result of physiology (NLP Term for body language). We know that physiology - the facial expressions, the gestures, the quality and type of movements - of the person delivering a communication provides us more information than the words do by themselves. We laugh when Eddie Murphy talks - it not the words that matter as much as the delivery-his tonality and physiology-that makes you laugh. Arshad Warsi is one of Feroz's favourite in this regard since Munnabhai and for me it is Dilip Prabhavalkar who can't beat anyone.

Mirroring is about "discovering" these three aspects (words, tone, physiology) of other person's communication and mirroring them for building rapport. While the words are working on a person's conscious mind, the tonality and physiology are working on the unconscious. Their unconscious is where their brain is thinking, "Hey, this person's like me. (S)he must be okay." And because it's unconscious, it's even more effective. We're not aware of anything but the bond is formed.

Mirror favorite words or phrases or jargons used by the other person.

Mirror the tonality and phrasing, the pitch, how fast (s)he talks, what sort of pauses the person makes, the volume.

Mirror posture and breathing patterns, eye contact, body language, facial expressions, hand gestures, or other distinctive movements. Any aspect of physiology, from the way a person plants their feet to the way (s)he tilts their head.

As part of the "Mirroring" process, we need to understand the person's representation system and mirror the same in our response to their communication. is a very good article on representation systems . The example below is from the article. Many relationships have been affected due to communication failure due lack of understanding the representation system. A woman who said "My husband doesn't love me. He never brings me flowers, takes me to movies, or looks at me in that special way." Her husband replied, "What do you mean, not love her...Of course I do. I tell her I love her three or four times a day!"She felt loved when she was shown visually. He thought he was loving when he told her so auditorially. He was satisfied by hearing the words "I love you," and as we all do, assumed she did too. If he had listened to the words she used to determine which Representation System she was thinking in, he would have heard the visual words and realised his declarations of love were 'falling on deaf ears.' Then he could have adapted his language and behaviour to show her he loved her, and they both would have been satisfied.It is that simple -- to listen for the Representational words which indicate in what sense the person is thinking, and to adjust your communication style to match.

The below verbal clues can be used to understand the person's representation system
GENERIC - I understand you, I want to communicate something to you, Do you understand what I'm trying to communicate, I know that to be true, I'm not sure about that, I don't like what you're doing, Life is good
VISUAL - I see your point, I want you to take a look at this, Am I painting a clear picture, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that that is true, That is pretty hazy to me, I take a dim view of your perspective, My mental picture of life is sparkling and crystal clear
AUDITORY - I hear what you're saying, I want to make this loud and clear, Does what I'm saying sound right to you, That information is accurate word for word, That doesn't really ring a bell, That doesn't resonate with me at all, Life is in perfect harmony
KINESTHETIC - I feel that I'm in touch with what you're saying, I want you to get a grasp on this, Are you able to get a handle on this, That information isas solid as a rock, I'm not sure I'm following you, What it boils down is that what you're doesn't feel right to me, Life feels warm and wonderful

The person who is talking about "how this looks" to them (visual) will probably be breathing high in the chest, speaking rapidly with shallow breathing, might be pointing, and may have hunched shoulders and an extended neck, while auditory people will more resonant voices and their breathing will tend to be more even and deep, coming from the diaphragm or the whole chest, and will have balanced muscle tension, and may fold their arms, and tilt their heads slightly to one side. Kinesthestic people speak in a slow tempo, will take long pauses between words so they can get a feel for what they're saying in their low, deep tonalities. Much of their body movement will tend to indicate tactile or external kinesthetic accessing. They often have upturned palms with arms bent and relaxed with a solid posture with their heads sitting squarely on their shoulders.

In "mirroring", it is important to observe and understand the other person's representation system - for us to provide our response in the same representation system as used by the other person - to build rapport.

If we mirror everything about another person? People feel as though they've found their soul mate, someone who totally understands, who can read their deepest thoughts, who is just like them.

We don't have to mirror everything about a person to create a state of rapport. If we just start with the tone of voice or a similar facial expression, we can learn to build incredible rapport with anyone.

We need to look for things that we can morror as unabstrusively as possible. If we mirror a person who is asthamatic or terrible twitching - instead of achieving rapport, we will lead him to think we are mocking him.

Mirroring is a natural process of rapport. We already do it unconsciously - Mirroring provides us a way to build rapport anytime we wish, with anyone, even a stranger. When we are mirroring, we get the benefits of another person's feelings and experiences and thoughts.

If we are using rapport as a tactic to manipulate another person to our way of thinking, at some level they instinctively know it and they will not respond positively. However, if we have mastered the art of rapport and our intention is to hear and be heard, to achieve win-win solutions or create genuine friendships, we will become a powerful and trusted communicator.

An "mirroring" example that Anthony talks about in the book
Robbins was relaxing in Central Park, New York, and noticed a man sitting across from him. Without really thinking about it, Robbins began to subtly copy the man's behaviour. At first he sat in a similar way to the man, breathed the way he was breathing and swayed his head a little as he did. The other man was throwing breadcrumbs to the birds and Robbins did this as well. Before long the man came over to sit beside Robbins and struck up a conversation. Robbins continued to mirror the man's physical actions and his voice tone and phrases he used in speech. After a few minutes the man told Robbins that he seemed "very intelligent" and that he felt he knew him better than some people he'd known for 25 years.

As Anthony Robbins says, The meaning of our communication is the response we elicit and the responsibility of communication rests upon us. Rapport is the most accessible skill in the world not needing a book or course to learn. The only tools we need is close observation and flexibility to match other person's world. We are always communicating and interacting. Rapport is simply doing both in the most effective ways possible. We can use rapport at the grocery store, job, home, job interviews etc

The below article has exercises to practise building rapport


Add to Technorati Favorites My Zimbio
Top Stories