One day, this will be perhaps my first attempt at public speaking. Maybe. If it is, I hope that the audience and I will co-create a total win/win situation, with all of us gaining something new.

Rapport has been written about extensively and in great depth. Much rubbish has been written and much gold too. I seek not to add yet more technique to this field, just to clarify the things I need to learn for myself the most.

To me, to really gain rapport with another person, is not to engage in “technique”. Voice matching, posture matching and all that, seemed to me to be backwards. These things surely I felt would be consequences of successful rapport rather than the producers. I’m sure some research somewhere proves me wrong on this one. Let me know if you have such research. Meanwhile I offer this, my own thoughts and opinion on the matter. Then, if you wish to, you can tell me what you think…and what you really think.

There was a lady I knew a few years ago, who was a practicing horse whisperer. She did have a horse called Jazz. One day she may read these pages and realise that through all the books and courses, her influence has given me the best picture of real rapport.

What is the key then? What is the secret that I’m referring too? Some readers are ahead of me already. These people are likely already top communicators, sales people and negotiators or perhaps therapists of one kind or another.

It’s easy and it’s harder than I thought possible. The key is to listen. Listen deep. To quieten the internal voices, images and feelings at the start and truly listen and experience the other person. To feel deeply of their experience, to hear deeply of their experience and to see them truly and deeply. This is the key.

Yet I would hear some say, what of our true selves? Would we not be risking our real selves, our real opinions and personality? What about the validity of our own reactions?

This is difficult for some, unless you understand that you cannot truly react to real person in front of you until you stop reacting to your interpretations of what you think they are saying and what their world is. How can you hear me if you can only hear your own thoughts and only a few of my words? How can you truly see me unless you are completely focussed on me rather than on the images in your mind that you have of me?

Your body, your intuition and your complete feelings will be the most accurate if you are totally engaged in the flow of the experience coming from the other first. This denies not your own person, instead affirming it. You realise that you are totally you, totally secure in knowing that you are who you are, and that you can make a clear choice as to whence and where your own influences come from.

To me, all life, all communication is in part a dance, a song if you will. Perhaps you may see it too as a play, a story or even a game. Regardless all these things require partners, readers, watchers, listeners…others. Other real people and also including your whole self. This is something new for many people and I am telling you what I truly need to deeply understand and learn for myself in great detail.

The best teachers can sometimes be the ones that need the lesson themself the most. Sometimes. Othertimes they can simply be annoying gits :-).

The lesson from the horse whisperer? Enter their world secure in the knowledge that you are completely you and can leave yours behind for a time. They become for the moment you are living in, the center of your universe. Enter their world, partake of it what you need to communicate clearly. This means accepting their world rather than judging it. Judgement is sometimes necessary, especially if you are a police officer interviewing a criminal. However this can be clearest made from a space where you have understood their world first, and have total knowledge of everything involved.

For a salesperson, this means joining in their world and realising whether or not you can actually be of genuine service to this person and guiding them to realise how. Such rapport cannot be faked, or false. Gerry Spence talks about bullshit detectors, and these come into play if such rapport is built upon false foundation. So real sales success is never going to be built upon bullshit.

Therapy of any form, can be seen as another more complex sale. How do you offer a new way of looking at the self if you cannot sell the idea to the client? Again, you’ll have to enter their world, and leave yours behind for a time. This doesn’t mean you can never return to yours. In fact you may have to return to yours to see what you may have to offer, and only in the complete understanding of their world. A tall order. I hear already, how can one have complete understanding of another. The only answer is to commit to understanding what can be understood fully in order to offer the client their own new path. Whether your therapy is permissive and completely hands off, or very directive and assertive, or just somewhere between, this understanding is deeply necessary in order to sell any effective help whatsoever.

My friend the horse whisperer told me a story once. She had to handle a rather difficult horse with a dangerous temperament. He attacked anyone who approached him.

Her approach was very different. She entered his field at the far end away from him. She sat down with her back to him. Picked a daisy, and sat looking at this daisy. Horses are nosy social animals, and this one was no exception. He came up behind her, nudging her shoulder wanting to know what she was looking at. However she slowly stood up, and moved away somewhere else, sat with her back to him again, still looking at her daisy.

This went on for about an hour or so. Eventually he became so docile that she was able to handle and lead him.

She entered his world, and allowed him to make his approaches instead of the other way around. He was in charge, yet wasn’t in charge of her exactly. He could ignore her, or meet her on her terms if he wanted to know what she was doing. Yet at no time did she push him into her world. He ended up wanting in for himself.

Food for thought ain’t it?

At this stage, there could be a question of my qualification could there not? Am I qualified as a salesperson? Do I have real world qualifications? Pieces of paper? Training? Experience as a therapist?

The truth? My qualification you can read for yourselves actually. You decide from what I write. I’m a learner. That is my qualification only. My only authority is my own heart and mind. The fact that I spend hours studying various materials is irrelevent in a way. Many will say you cannot learn the skills I talk about from books. This is likely true, so I write instead. I write to clarify my own thoughts, my own ideas and my own possibilities.

Over time I can only get better at the writing can I not?

Eventually the sales coach business will be a genuine going concern. I will know the best time, as will the few clients I choose to work with. True artistry won’t be a mass list of people I work for. It will be a synergy of the few that decide my partnership with them will be fruitful. The approaches themselves will be painted from a palette of many disciplines. Everything will be win/win all the way. I cannot be paid unless the people I work with gain a lot of extra profit from what we create together.

It will be fun.

I hope that some of this post will be of use. If not, well, suggestions tend to fit nicely into the comments box.

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