Building Rapport

Building Rapport

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Body language an insight

Do people often look at you and say, “I can tell what you’re thinking”.

Are you failing to read signals that are being sent to you?

If so, then read on……

Body language can have a profound effect on your negotiating strength. If you can interpret what others are really saying and have awareness about your own body talk you will add to your negotiating strength.

Start every meeting with positive body language. Express your enthusiasm and energy – always give everyone eye contact as you do introductions.

Pay close attention to other people’s body language in the room, you will be able to see how receptive people are to your ideas and suggestions by the signals their body language is sending out.

Facial expressionsSmiles, good eye contact, nodding at appropriate moments, cocking the head to one sideNo eye contact, yawning, cheeks twitching with tension, head turned away from you.
Arms and handsArms open, hands on the table or relaxed in their lap or touching their face.Hands clenched, fidgety, arms crossed in front of the chest or rubbing the back of their necks.
Legs and feetSitting with their legs together or crossed facing towards you.Crossed legs pointing away from you.
TorsoSitting on the edge of their chairs, leaning forward towards you.Leaning back in the chair, balancing the chair on the back two legs.

Receptive people look relaxed with open hands, displaying the palms, indicating openness to discussion. They lean forward, whether they are sitting or standing.  By contrast, people who aren’t willing to listen may lean back in the chair or protectively fold their arms across their chest. Having one leg up on the arm of the chair appears to be an open posture, but more often, this position signals a lack of consideration.

So what do you do if people are unreceptive to you?

You may feel the natural need to start speaking louder or faster – don’t, instead ask them. By saying something along the lines of “I’m sensing I’m losing you” or saying their name before a question “Mary I can sense you are not sure about something” will give your colleagues an opportunity to say why they are not accepting your ideas.

Remember behaviour breeds behaviour, if you demonstrate nervous or negative body language then your colleagues will follow suit. If you send out the message that you are not secure enough in what you are saying i.e., you don’t believe enough in your own idea then how do you expect to get buy-in from your colleagues?

Communication Model by Albert Mehrabian

If you would like to find out how GMD People can support your managers to build rapport with your teams to increase productivity, please contact me.


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