Do you remember Mr. Rogers?
How easy it was to talk to him, how magnetic he was to any visitor, and that no matter who you were in the neighborhood, you felt like he knew you and wanted to spend time with you.
(If this is not ringing a bell, I highly recommend watching the 2019 film, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood with Tom Hanks!)
As a corporate leader, we can all strive for establishing rapport and trust as soothing and easily as Fred Rogers did back in the day.
This skill of rapport building means there is trust, and is what separates the top 1% of corporate leaders from all the rest…
It’s building and creating trust up, down, and across the organization so you
👉 Have a seat at the table
👉 Are valued and respected for what your contributions
👉 Feel understood and known an an impactful, trusting and confident human (and leader)
This is what Mr. Rogers was exceptional at, and something you can do and rise to your next level of leadership - and it has to do with mastering your emotional intelligence, or EQ.
Recently I was coaching a female CEO exactly how to do this, and shared my four step recipe I call, "4 For Rapport," that serves as the key foundational steps for moving deeper into building trust and rapport - any leader ready to rise to their next level of leadership can follow and result to great outcomes like…
Closing more deals and clients
Hiring the right person
Elevating your team to higher performance
...and so much more!
And...like our friend Fred, you don’t have to be a CEO (or like fuzzy engine red sweaters) to incorporate these steps into daily practice - you will rise to your next level of leadership no matter what your title is.
Here are the "4 for Rapport" steps to follow:
Be ok with small talk. If you already enjoy this, great! Many personality types find small talk comforting and establishes common ground with others. It takes only a few minutes, and you can remind yourself, “This is in service to my ability to be a trusted leader - practice in every meeting, encounter, or with your barista.” If you notice this is a waste of time, challenge yourself and try it by asking something you're curious about (see #2).
Leverage your natural curiosity - it’s ok to be curious :) - try one question to ask that follows your natural curiosity like, “What did you do this morning?” or “What brings you to this event?”
Express your value: experiment or play around with phrases or words as you use them in steps 1 & 2 - verbal, in writing, or elsewhere. If one thing doesn’t work, try to ask what would work or share more about why it would be great to meet again, or follow up, etc. If you find yourself not in rapport, it means we need to do a better job of communicating our value to others.
Apply your “resting face” when with others - this means you look relaxed, present, at ease and approachable. Practice this in the mirror a few times. You’ll put others (and you) at ease: open and relaxed facial and body language builds rapport and just a few simple shifts in facial expressions sometimes we may not even be aware of.
While it’s not a step, I’d add one more thing...
Have fun in the process 😎 - it can be fun as you try new ways of being and experiment.
Try the "4 for Rapport" recipe over the next 7 days, and notice how everything shifts as a leader in business - and in your life - when you make these intentional tweaks in how you approach relationships. You will be flexing your EQ muscles and building this skill as you do so. ❤️
In my signature program, Executive Leadership Accelerator, we work this over twelve weeks to be more confident, clear, and calm along with many other proven tools and strategies based in EQ and neuroscience - which will take you to your next level or leadership - go here to get on the wait list.