If you don’t connect with your audience – your subject – you can’t expect to be able to effectively communicate with or lead them. But people communicate and connect through much more than just words – in fact, the words we say make up only 7% of the meaning that we communicate. Strong leaders learn to use non-verbal cues to build rapport and connection.
1. Matching and mirroring
2. Leading and pacing
3. VAK communications
Matching and mirroring is a powerful and simple way to build rapport by creating a common bond. People respond more favorably to others whom they perceive to be similar to themselves – so when you mirror patterns of speech, communication styles, dress or interests, you can more easily exert influence. Mirroring is especially important because it taps into the 93% of communication that is not verbal – mirroring allows you to influence another person through your tone and your physiology.
Level Up: When you’ve matched and mirrored your way to a strong rapport, you can begin pacing and leading. Pacing is your ability to adjust to changes your subject makes; Leading happens when you’ve built so much rapport with your subject that they begin to subconsciously mirror you.
You can’t influence someone when you don’t speak their language, so it’s important to learn and speak the language that they understand best. This doesn’t mean studying French or Japanese. It means grasping the different communication styles that each person has, and using that knowledge as a tool to connect and influence.
visual, auditory and kinesthetic. Knowing which style your audience prefers, and knowing how you can speak in that style, will help you build rapport and create change.