Have you ever felt that your clients or colleagues aren’t really listening to you?

Do you need to explain things a million times before anyone does what you ask?

Are there important people in your life who just won’t open up?

Here, red10 ‘s Andy Stanley introduces one of the 16 concepts that the research of Neuro-Linguistic Programming found in the healthiest of minds:

Resistance in a client is a sign of a lack of rapport

(There are no resistant clients, only inflexible communicators. Build more rapport, be more flexible).

Why don’t people listen to me?

Have you considered the possibility that It might be your fault?

People with healthy minds seem to hold the concept that you need to first establish rapport before you can communicate properly. People’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviours are interconnected and can be positively influenced through effective communication and modelling. This approach emphasizes the importance of understanding and adapting to the unique perspectives and communication styles of individuals. In simple terms, if you haven’t built rapport before you speak, there’s a good chance that your message isn’t going to land, and you’ll be left with the feeling that you’re not being listened to.

Oh, so it is my fault is it? But what do you mean by rapport?

By ‘rapport’ we mean that you’ve both chosen to open the trapdoor on your heads so that info flows 2-way between you.

Rapport-building is a fundamental concept in NLP. It involves creating a strong connection and mutual trust between the speaker and the listener. When rapport is lacking, listeners may feel uncomfortable or mistrustful, leading to resistance.

OK, so how do I help people open their trapdoors?

Effective rapport-building is at the heart of NLP success. Here are some NLP-inspired strategies for building more rapport:

  • Calibration: Pay close attention to the person’s verbal and non-verbal cues to understand their emotional state and thought processes. This helps you adjust your communication accordingly.

  • Pacing and Leading: Start by pacing their current state of mind and then gently lead them toward a more receptive state. This gradual transition minimizes resistance.

  • Matching and Mirroring: Align your behaviour with that of the other person. This includes mirroring their body language, tone of voice, and communication style to create a sense of familiarity and trust.

  • Meta-Modelling: Encourage the other person to clarify their thoughts and express themselves more clearly by asking specific questions that challenge their assumptions and beliefs.

Sounds good.  But you mentioned flexibility. Why is that so important to building rapport?

NLP practitioners emphasize the importance of being a flexible communicator. This means adapting your approach to suit the individual needs, preferences, and values of the client. Flexibility allows you to overcome resistance by tailoring your communication style to be more effective in each unique situation.

So, if I build rapport and behave in a more flexible manner, everything is going to be OK?

There’s no magic bullet, but in the realm of Neuro Linguistic Programming, resistance is not a sign of uncooperative people but rather a reflection of a lack of rapport and flexibility in communication. By embracing the principles of NLP, you too can unlock the full potential of this powerful tool for personal development and behaviour change. Remember, there are no resistant clients (or listeners) — only opportunities to build rapport and become more flexible communicators, ultimately leading to more profound and positive interactions and transformations.