May 25

Umar Hameed


Today I want to talk about rapport. In every sales training you have probably been in, they have talked about rapport.

Rapport! Rapport! Rapport!

The question is, why do we do that? Is it something foreign to us or is it something that innately built in to us? I believe it is built in to us.

The interesting thing is that all human beings have neurons inside their minds that allow us to mimic other people, to relate to other people. Or they have genetic origins that if they may behave like other people, they wouldn’t want to beat us with clubs and kill us.

So rapport is the key to human communication. Any sales training you would attend would talk about rapport. But sometimes they don’t tell us why it is so important and what is really going on at a neurological level.


As it turns out, in our brain there are neurons that are designed to allow us to behave in a similar fashion as other human beings. The reason we do that is because, back in the day when man lived in tribes and were hunters and gatherers, if we behaved like the people around us, they wouldn’t want to pick up clubs and beat us to death. So, we do that naturally, as mammals, to connect with other people to build that trust.

So how quickly do we learn that behavior?

The one muscle or the set of muscles that babies can control very quickly is their tongue. And literally within a few days of their birth, is the mother sticks her tongue out at the baby, the baby would be capable to sticking their tongue out to mimic their mom. That’s what rapport is.

It is genetically hot-wired within us. But when we get in to school or work, a lot of times we do not get into the rapport with other human beings and we behave in the way we are most comfortable in.

So when you learn rapport skills, you can actually connect with other people in a profound way. So, not only in the volume of voice that they’re using which, by the way, is one of the fastest ways to build rapport with somebody by matching the volume of our voice with them.

The speed of your speech; if they talk really quickly and you talk really slowly, there will be a disconnect. But if you can talk with them at the same speed as them, speed it up if they talk fast and slow your speech down if they talk slowly,  you will build a massive amount of rapport.

These things are basically just scratching the surface. There is a lot more that can be done to build a stronger rapport.

When you learn that you get a massive amount of trust between you and the person you’re connecting with, you will hear phrases like, “I shouldn’t be telling you this, but…”. And, ideally in a sales situation, you would want to hear that because it’s telling you what’s really going on in the organization.

If you’re in a personal relationship, you want to have that level of trust with people telling you what they are really thinking, what they are really feeling. When you have that level of connection, you can help people achieve better results, whether it’s in their business, whether it’s in their personal relationships, whether it’s with your family.

About the author 

Umar Hameed


building rapport, neuroscience

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