rapport building skills

Matching and mirroring (from NLP) involves observing and replicating the other person’s nonverbal cues, speech patterns, energy levels, and emotional states to build rapport.


Matching and Mirroring Steps


1. Observe Nonverbal Cues: Pay close attention to the other person’s body language, gestures, and facial expressions.


2. Reflect Posture and Movement: Mimic the person’s posture, movements, and gestures subtly and naturally.


3. Match Breathing Patterns: Sync your breathing rhythm with theirs to establish a deeper connection.


4. Mirror Speech Patterns: Match their tone, pace, volume, and language patterns in conversation.


5 Emulate Energy Levels: Adjust your energy level to align with theirs, whether it’s calm and relaxed or enthusiastic and animated.


6. Connect Emotionally: Reflect their emotional state by expressing empathy and understanding.


7. Watch for signs of rapport, with the other person relaxing and feeling comfortable with you. The final show of rapport is when the other person then mimics your body language.


CAUTION: Be Subtle and Natural: Avoid overdoing it or appearing insincere; mirroring and matching should feel natural and unforced.


Learn More https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/nlp-mirroring-matching-techniques-dr-lisa-christiansen/

6 Min


Eye Contact

A Friend

Match & Mirror Exercise

Practice with a friend. Monitor the degree of matching and mirroring occurring in a natural conversation. Now amp up your mirroring and match their intonation and breathing.


Monitor any changes in conversation or connection.


Now match their body language.


Monitor any changes in conversation or connection.


Now ask if you have rapport. If yes, break the rapport by changing your body language, and see if they follow. If no, continue with matching and mirroring until there’s a bit of rapport, and then end the conversation.

At no time be so obvious that your mimicking is detected. Be slow to change when they change; perform any mirroring in a subtle way.


Practice this whenever you can, and you will develop your mirroring skills for better conversations and outcomes.