A happy and productive workplace is one where employees get along with each other across departments. The managers are approachable and ready to give feedback as well as receive feedback. A junior employee can approach a senior manager without hesitation and ask for constructive feedback on their work. This kind of environment becomes a harmonious and conducive place of work.

It’s possible to create a nurturing environment by building strong connections with your coworkers and strengthening your network. There are many ways in which you can connect with people in today’s world. It can be on social media—LinkedIn, Instagram, or Facebook—or meeting them personally for informal or formal catch-ups. Networking is one of the most useful skills that’ll help you build a strong rapport with the people you know or wish to know. In your current professional context, rapport can refer to a harmonious relationship with your managers, juniors, and peers.

Learn to build a strong, sustainable network with Harappa Education’s comprehensive course, Expanding Networks. Part of Harappa’s Collaborate Habit, the course will teach you the different kinds of networks you build during the course of your life, how to maintain relationships with time and effort, and the importance of trust. Whether you’re an entrepreneur or if you’re working in the corporate sector, networking and rapport formation with your connections is important for your professional growth.

Let’s define rapport and discuss how rapport formation can help you build trust in your relationships. 

What Is The Meaning Of Rapport?

The meaning of rapport is creating trust-based relationships with people at work or in other areas of your life. Rapport in a workplace is important for interpersonal relationships with your colleagues. If you work in a team, that’ll help you reach your goals efficiently because your colleagues trust you to perform well. For instance, if you have a strong bond with your manager or counselor based on trust, then you’re more likely to be considered for a promotion for your effort.

The bonds you build take time, effort, and trust. These bonds often help you in your professional ambitions with a raise, career progression, and appreciation or praise from a senior. Rapport doesn’t only deal with office connections; you can have a close rapport with someone who works in a different industry. For instance, as a writer, you may be connected with financial consultants, tech experts, and artists. Your success will depend on your ability to accommodate different personalities and pay attention to the people around you.

Rapport formation can also help you mentor a junior at work. Being approachable and friendly will make your juniors see you as someone they can confide in. You’ll be able to create a comfortable environment for them to share their aspirations with you and seek your guidance. Some of the traits that you can develop for rapport formation are:

  • Amicability— being respectful and friendly with people

  • Attention— paying attention to what people are saying and listening well

  • Honesty—being truthful and trustworthy with people

  • Non-judgmental—being accepting of different points of view and workstyles

  • Open—being open to other people’s problems and situation

  • Empathetic—trying to put yourself in someone’s shoes to relate with how they’re feeling

The Importance Of Rapport Building

Regardless of the industry, you’re associated with, each business requires a sustainable foundation on which to develop lasting relationships. Customer service executives, human resources, sales, and technology—each job role is different in its approach—business strategy, target market, and organizational structures. But the one thing that’s common across each of these industries is the importance of rapport building.

Someone who’s working in the customer service industry has to build trusting relationships with people to serve them better and establish goodwill. Meanwhile, someone who’s working in tech may not directly interact with customers, but they have to be on amicable terms with their colleagues and other departments. The importance of rapport building is associated with human connections. You need a support system—whether it comprises close confidants or professional acquaintances—to help you navigate your way through this competitive world.

Some of the key points that highlight the importance of rapport building are:

1. Expand Your Network 

To expand your network, you can reach out to people from your school, university, and office with whom you had a comfortable relationship. For instance, if you’re a UI designer fresh out of college, you can approach professors and seniors from school to help you land a job. It could be your research supervisor and a senior you’ve worked with on a project.

2. Connect With Diverse People 

A close, personal relationship with people from diverse fields and or those who have different interests will help you learn new things and identify new opportunities. For instance, if you’re looking for a job change after 15 years of working as an auditor in the financial sector, you can catch up with previous clients to transition into a full-time role with them. Or, if you need to commission an artist for a wall mural in your office, your connections may be able to help you out.

3. Improve Personal Relationships 

A strong rapport with your partner, friends, and family members based on trust will result in lasting relationships. Say you’re an introvert, then rapport formation can help you keep your friends close and build a meaningful relationship with them.

4. Help Someone In Need 

If you have a good rapport with a colleague or a friend, they’ll reach out to you if they need help or are in a pickle. For instance, as a manager, if you have a good rapport with your juniors, you’ll be able to guide them better which will help your team succeed in your organizational goals.

5. Seek Help From Someone 

You can seek help from someone with whom you have a comfortable relationship when you’re in need. For instance, you can seek the support of your mentor to guide you in your professional journey.

Types Of Networkers

Adam Grant, psychologist and author of Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success, expertly defined three types of networkers—givers, takers, and matchers.

1. Givers are people who extend help to anyone who needs it without expecting something in return. They’re the people to approach for recommendations or an introduction with someone in their network. Givers usually have a strong rapport with their connections because of their selfless and helpful personality.

2. Takers are people who prefer to take help but don’t return the favor. They often network when there’s something in return for them or if they’re benefitting from the outcome. Takers are unable to form a good rapport with their connections because they may seem distrustful and they’re often motivated by personal needs.

3. Matchers are people who are willing to help you if you help them. They’re the proponents of a ‘give and take’ approach. They’re the ideal type of networker in a business setting. Give-and-take is part of negotiations and matchers are especially good at maintaining lasting relationships and rapport formation.

A strong network can help you realize your ambitions. The importance of rapport building is that it nurtures your relationships so you have someone to lean on during a rocky time. Some people may have this trait intuitively, but with the right outlook, anyone can pick up essential skills in their professional journey to become a reliable team member and a supportive friend or family member. Let’s look at how you can develop a rapport with your network.

How To Develop A Rapport With Your Colleagues

Intuition and sensitivity to someone’s actions and mood can help a perceptive individual in developing a good rapport with anyone. People have different personalities and some are more attuned to their internal and external environments than others. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t develop the skills you need to build relationships and help other people.

Trust is the most important factor when it comes to rapport formation with your peers and colleagues. As per Harappa’s curriculum, there are four factors of trust—credibility, reliability, openness, and level of self-orientation. Each of these factors of trust reflects how you interact with people and how they react to you. If you’re honest and approachable, you can win someone’s trust and foster a lifelong relationship with them.

It’s a trait that can be nurtured and cultivated with careful consideration. A lot of organizations hold workshops for ‘workplace etiquette’ and sensitivity training to help their employees transition into their roles, seek help, and be sensitive to the people around them. There are many resources that you can access to learn more about rapport formation. You can read books on the importance of rapport building, follow blogs online, and read testimonials from industry professionals and successful leaders.

Harappa’s Expanding Networks course will help you build relationships, sustain networks, and utilize those networks. You’ll be able to accomplish your professional objectives and build bonds that are constructive and healthy. Some of the concepts that we’ve discussed are part of the Harappa curriculum. You’ll learn from the personal experiences of industry experts who constitute Harappa faculty to help you identify areas where you can improve your networking skills.

Explore our Harappa Diaries section to know more about the topic related to the Collaborate habit such as Building Relationships, Difference between Leadership and Management, Managing Conflict, Strategic Management & Teamwork in order to develop your collaboration skills.

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