Could you be underestimating the importance of building rapport in coaching? Here’s why it is extremely important; and why it is not to be overlooked:
- Rapport is the number one key to having your clients return. Not only for a few follow up sessions. But calling you for help with new issues years later, again and again. They will remember you and court your guidance to help them navigate through new problems. And all of this based on the rapport you established the first time around.
- Rapport is the number one key to unlocking your client’s desire to shout your name to the rooftops with lavish and powerful referrals. They feel happy with how they felt in your presence. AND grateful you helped them get where they wanted to go. With great rapport, clients can hardly contain their joy and will sing your praises to everyone they know. (Ok. A bit of an exaggeration. But still, after 4 decades of private practice sustained by client referrals only, I can’t say it’s that much of an exaggeration.)
- Rapport is the number one key to transforming the most difficult and resistant client into one of the easiest and most fun to work with. Knowing how to purposely build rapport can move the most recalcitrant person into wanting to give up the fight. This situation almost begs for your own creative juices to get involved. And that’s where it becomes fun to work with the previously thought to be ‘difficult and un-coachable’ client.
When I’ve asked coaching professionals if they agree with the importance of building rapport in coaching, this is what I hear again and again: ‘That’s a no-brainer. Of course it’s important’
Yet, when I ask how they know, for sure, they have rapport, I get a variety of interesting answers:
- They seem to like me.
- Well, they answer all my questions.
- I’ve worked with their problem before, so my confidence inspires trust.
- I listen a lot and am not intrusive.
- I match them energetically and that’s all it takes.
- My reputation precedes me, so of course they feel comfortable.
So, if what you’re doing is keeping your practice up and running, and growing, that’s great.
But if not, read on and I’ll share with you the real importance of building rapport in coaching. But first….
What is Rapport, Really?
Well, let me start with what rapport actually isn’t. It’s good to be clear about this. If you start to feel like you’re trying to push a square peg into a round hole, that’s a clue you don’t have it.
Rapport is not:
- Being liked.
- People answering your questions
- Established automatically because of your background or reputation
- Listening avidly and not asking too many questions.
- Being from the same hometown, or having the same teachers.
People go to a coach for help in changing a wide range of things: behaviors, limiting beliefs, or debilitating and hurtful notions about who they think they are.
It is this conscious desire to change behavior that can bring them to an NLP Coach rather than a traditionally trained coach.
This is because an NLP Coach is not only trained in the art of skillful inquiry. They are also trained in the science of accelerated behavioral change.
When does the importance of building rapport in coaching becomes obvious? When you realize it’s the unconscious mind you have to work with. No behavioral change can happen without it’s blessing.
The Key To Accelerated Behavioral Change
Many avenues of personal growth rest on the notion that if you understand why what you’re doing isn’t working, you should be able to change it.
If your strategy is wrong and you generate a new one, you should then be free to do what you couldn’t do before.
If your belief is wrong and you can figure out the right belief, then you should be able to behave in the new ways it allows.
Up to a point, this is certainly true and a useful course of action. But how about after that point?
When behaviors don’t change and shifting beliefs and strategies don’t do the trick, another angle of vision is needed.
That angle becomes available in a fundamental NLP skill-set:
The skills for communicating not only with the client’s conscious mind, but with their unconscious mind as well.
Why is this extremely important to know?
It is the unconscious mind that has the power to embrace
OR veto your client’s conscious desire for change.
In NLP, building rapport means establishing trust – with the unconscious mind. And that’s what cinches the importance of building rapport in coaching.
Your client’s unconscious mind needs to trust YOU before it will explore the possibility of embracing that desired new behavior.
Rapport & Your Client’s Unconscious Mind
Your client’s conscious desire to change is what brings them to you asking for help. The unconscious mind’s desire is to keep things as they are.
The unconscious mind’s job is to protect the client. It operates out of an uncompromising commitment to safety and protection.
And this is what can make it so difficult, or seemingly impossible, for the client to get the change they want.
The unconscious mind can be completely unaware that a behavior is no longer working for the client.
So it operates under the notion that when something isn’t broken, don’t mess with it. Keeping the status quo is its favorite M.O.
When you have rapport with the unconscious mind, it trusts you.
But more importantly, it will communicate with you.
As a coach, you want to be free to communicate directly with the mind that is in charge of behavior.
This reveals the importance of building rapport in coaching – and maintaining it throughout your session. Without it, the process of change can be much slower and stodgier than it needs to be.
If you’re interested in learning more, please CLICK HERE to sign up for my FREE 30 Minute Webinar – The Art Of Rapport – this coming Tuesday, July 23rd at 9 am PST.
A recording will be available, so be sure to sign up even if you can’t attend. And I’ll be including a free download – Tips For Creating Rapport.
I hope you found this interesting. If you’d like to chat with me personally, just go to www.Calendly.com/rm–10/30min to schedule a 30 minute free call at your convenience. I’d be delighted to meet you.