Building Rapport, Staying Engaged
By Lisa Olcese, MS
Getting stuck in some heated conversations, political or otherwise? It seems that we are feeling more divided than ever before, which increases the urgency to build bridges across our differences if we are to create the world we want for ourselves and for future generations.
Here are 3 strategies to help you build rapport, stay engaged and avoid burning out:
- Become aware of your inner states – your feelings, reactions, body sensations – before you erupt or implode. Develop mindful self-compassion and self-rapport. This is a daily practice.
- Learn the basics of nonverbal communication. When you increase your behavioral flexibility to attend to other aspects of what’s being communicated, including and beyond the content, a kind of magic can occur. This is a learned skill.
- Share what’s true for you. Facts are important, and checking your sources is good practice. But often we lose sight of conveying what’s at stake for us in those facts. This is about communicating your values – and while it increases our vulnerability, it can also extend a bridge to understanding.
For many of us, these conversations are not merely an intellectual exercise – our greatest hopes, fears, assumptions and projections are intertwined with our desire to understand and be understood. Our relationships – with colleagues and loved ones alike – provide a platform from which to explore the topics that seem to divide us. When we can be vulnerable enough to risk sharing both our opinions and what informs our opinions, real dialogue starts to take place. Mindfully attending to how we stay engaged can leave us feeling more energized, curious and connected in the end.
Try it. You might be pleasantly surprised.
Stay Engaged: How to Have Influence Without Burning Out, taught by Lisa Olcese, MS, certified Executive Coach and Master Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, is an interactive workshop that will help you build skills and experience more productive, meaningful conversations with the people in your life. The next session of this class is April 8, 2017.