Rapports have been built for a very long time, and in many different ways.
The term ‘rapport’ (also known as mimicking, mirroring and many more) has one basic idea; to copy your victim’s way of being to resemble themselves and thereby get them to like you.
The basic priciple goes like this:
I act like you -> You think about ‘yourself in me’ (that I am like you) -> You like me (as you like yourself) -> You trust me (as you trust yourself) -> You will want to be like me (in order to trust yourself) -> You will do what I do.
Quite simple, huh?
Like it or not, it works on everyone. It works on me, it works on you and will most definitely work on the customer support of Apple (or whatever you feel like getting for free today).
All of this happens in the subconscious, that way you cannot gaurd yourself against it, and that makes sure it will work pretty much every time.
This is probably the most vital part on building a rapport, as it the most obvious factor to the subconscious mind.
What happens when you do this is that your victim feels comfortable in the way you speak, as it is the way he/she speaks him/herself.
Pacing verbal communication strongly influences the depth (strength) of rapport you establish with another person, and is vital to the verbal part of building a rapport.
Pacing volume is a very important factor and shuold be prioritized above many other things.
A person who speaks softly will feel more comfortable speaking to someone who also speaks softly.
In the same way, some who speaks loudly will have more respect for someone who they recognise to have a kindred spirit if you match their volume.
In fact, you might actually sometimes want to exceed the person’s volume to get them to speak more softly.
By reflecting an exceeded reflection you might actually be able to modify their behaviour.
Some people find that they can actually control others by going ‘out of control’, and then getting them to realize that they cannot ‘win’.
The below example is a technique that my father used on me and my brothers, and that I have found to be very handy when dealing with children.
*Child screams* -> *I scream (not at the baby, with the baby) louder* -> *The baby screams louder to test my limits* -> *I scream even louder* -> The child is fascinated by my scream and thereby I gain its respect -> Child falls silent calmly.
This technique works as good on adults who talk to loudly aswell as on the child in the example, with the difference that the adult doesn’t fall silent, but instead talks a bit more softly.
The message in this, that the best way to change someone’s behaviour is to change your own. The resulting change will cause the other person to change to re-establish balance and the illusion of control.
The body language is the other vital component in building a rapport, and works pretty much exactly as the verbal one (with the exception of mouth vs. body…).
Rather difficult to explain this progress by words, but the circumstances require me to, so I’ll give it a shot.
Say that you are facing someone who is facing away from you.
Doesn’t feel great, does it?
Now what if that person stands in relation to you as you are to him/her?
That’s better, right?
That is just the point of physical rapport building.
Objects that relate equally to something, are equal
Imagine you being one object, and your victim the other.
If you both relate equally to eachother, you become equal, the main point of this technique.
So, how do we do this?
Straight and simple, what you want to do is to copy pretty much everything your victim does.
Doing this, remember to include things like if he/she is
– Leaning or standing up
– Resting on one leg or both
– looking tired or cheerful
– fiddling with his/her finger or absolutely still
…and many more I’m sure you will discover as you go along.
Test For a Rapport
Ever held a magnet to another?
They stick to eachother, don’t they?
That is just what happens here.
You and your victim meet with totally different stories and conditions, but when you have established a rapport, you are just like the magnet.
But how do you know when you have the ‘magnet-state’?
From standing in the same position as your victim, re-position yourself in another position
Now wait a few minutes for your victim to mirror your action.
If he/she does, you have successfully established a rapport.
If not, you have to keep building and try again until you’ve got it.
Another, quite simpler, way of testing for a rapport is to simply change the pacing of your own voice. Note how your target’s speaking rhythm changes, and decide if it’s enough for your rapport to hold.
No, this did not just turn into a photo tutorial, TTL stands for Take The Lead, and is the reward after all the mess with building seemingly-endless rapports.
Remember the magnet metaphor?
Well, now you’ve stuck to your victim, and have to take charge before he/she drifts off with you attached to him/her.
To do this, simply do what you want the other person to do, and they should follow you.
Now you have successfully created a rapport on your victim, and managed to manipulate him/her to follow your lead. Not bad, huh?
Tips and Notes
Building a rapport on someone is very safe business, you’re practically never caught, and if you are, no one can blame you for you trying to get them to like you and creating a harmonious environment, can they?
Though you want to think about some things:
– If you test for a rapport and fail, bare in mind that you will be starting from about 60 or 70% of what you had before (as you break the sync when you test it).
– When exceeding someone’s volume or pitch, don’t overdo it. This can cause the person to realize what you are doing, and your report is immediately turned into a hyper-conscious screaming contest between two…mentals.
– Building rapports is not something you will be able to do the first couple of times, but as you work on it, it will be more and more efficient and you will need less and less time (my record is ~25 seconds on a client).
Also, after having done this for some time, you will start to build rapports on people without thinking about it. That is the ultimate trigger point; now you’ve built rapports for a long time, and can pursue most people you meet.
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