Social connection: 6 steps for stronger rapport


Social connection: 6 steps for stronger rapport

Here at Friendzr, we’re big believers in social connection. So much so that we’ve built a brand new app to help you connect with people in your local community in just two clicks. We already know that social connection is vital for physical and mental wellbeing. Our need to connect is one of the most basic human needs, equal to our need for food and shelter.
 
Despite that, connecting socially can come hard for many of us. We may feel shy and lack confidence in social situations. Some people struggle with severe social anxiety. Others are naturally introverted and feel more comfortable in their own company. Whichever way we’re inclined, social connectedness has so many benefits that it’s impossible to argue against it. If the idea of talking to many new people fills you with dread, you’ll be pleased to know it’s the quality, not quantity, of the connection that matters.

Check your appearance

First impressions matter. If you’re unsure what to wear, dress slightly better than the occasion warrants. You can always relax your attire a little if you find you went overboard.

Remember the basics of good communication

Smile
Relax
Remember (and use) people’s names
Maintain good posture
Listen attentively
Be culturally appropriate
Don’t outstay your welcome

Use small talk to find common ground

Small talk will help you find something you share. Most people are happy to talk about themselves, so use open-ended questions to find something you have in common. Perhaps you grew up in the same town or supported the same club. You may even bond over the frustration of daily traffic or the horror of the recent heatwave to help make the initial connection.

Create shared experiences

The more you interact, the better and more profound the quality of your connection. If possible, find something you can do together – join a local book club or volunteer for a cause close to your heart.

Be empathetic

Empathy is the ability to see other people’s perspectives and recognise their emotions. Listen actively and ask open-ended questions to understand what makes others tick. In the interest of balance, aim to share as much as the other person does.

Mirroring

Good communication is more than just words. Tune in to your counterpart’s body language, including posture and facial expressions. Use similar language and reiterate key words and favourite phrases. If you get really good at this, consider their speech patterns – volume and tone. When it comes to mirroring, it’s essential not to overdo it! It’s a very useful technique (people like people similar to them!), but if you go overboard, it will likely come across as off-putting.