Welcome to our second article in our series on NLP for Mediators.
Click the link below to view the one page handout that goes along with the article:
Enhanced NLP for Mediators Handout – Rapport
What You Probably Don’t Know about Rapport in Mediation
In our last article we discussed how to use questions to build motivation in the
parties involved in a dispute. Motivation is the key force when it comes to
building commitment and facilitating someone to take action.
Even more foundational than the skill of eliciting motivation are the skills of
Rapport is a connection and familiarity with another that establishes comfort
and a framework for building trust.
In Neuro-Semantic NLP we work from the presupposition that “Any resistance is an
expression of lack of rapport.” This means that at any time there is resistance
in a dispute, whether between the parties, or between the mediator and one of
the disputants, it is an indication that proper rapport is not in place.
So how do we build that kind of powerful rapport that dissolves resistance?
At the physiological level, we can begin by ‘Matching’ the other person.
Have you ever seen love birds at the restaurant, or best friends interacting and
they are in such deep rapport they are completely in sync?
Many people nowadays are trained in the power of matching someones body posture,
however even more subtle, and just as powerful can be something as simple as
matching their vocal qualities such as tone, volume, and speed. Extremely
powerful and even more subtle can be matching someone else’s breathing tempo and
Techniques such as these can build powerful rapport with someone at a level
outside of their conscious awareness.
The danger and temptation of NLP around the world has been that people become so
enamored with the “techniques” and “technology” that they forget the person.
This has the effect of de-personalizing and de-humanizing the experience.
“Seeking first to understand” was one of the seven habits of highly effective
people (Stephen Covey) so focus on entering the other’s world and space for the
purpose of understanding. This allows you to be a real person in relationship to
another real person. Ultimately, building rapport is an attitude more than a
In Neuro-Semantics, we say that you do not truly know something until you have
integrated it into your neurology, so regardless of how much you know about
building rapport, how well do you have this integrated into your behavior as a
As an assignment to get these skills even more deeply into your neurology use
the handout available here as a guide to practice matching others in order to
Practice these skills this week and stay tuned to the next article in this
series on NLP for Mediators.
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For your highest and best,
Enhanced NLP Training