Rapport is a fundamental skill in relationships, and the effectiveness of your coaching depends on the quality of your relationships with clients. Having rapport in place at the outset of a series of coaching sessions sets you on the road to success. Good rapport means you are highly sensitive to your clients’ moods and responses, as well as highly challenging, really stretching yourself and your clients to exciting levels.
Yet rapport is tricky. Often you become aware of rapport by its absence rather than its presence. Without rapport you have no spark or connection between two people or within a group; the essential links between you are missing.
I once had a disastrous telephone conversation about some potential work in which the client on the other end of the line said, ‘I'm too busy for this. Let's cut the polite talk and assume we have rapport.’ Actually, you can't ever assume rapport; you need to build it and earn it.
Building rapport involves paying exquisite attention to the other person, including her style, needs and interests. If you're overly concerned about yourself and how you come across as a coach, you stop noticing the client's reactions, which detracts from rapport building.
Laying the foundation for rapport begins even before the first meeting. ...