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The Human Touch: Personal skills for professional success by James Cadle, Debra Paul, Phillipa Thomas

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2 BUILDING RAPPORT AND SUSTAINING RELATIONSHIPS

INTRODUCTION

Ask a person to define what having rapport means and they are likely to describe it in terms of a feeling they have about someone. They will commonly use phrases such as: ‘We’re on the same wavelength’; ‘We have a real connection’; ‘Ours is a meeting of minds’; or even, ‘They are my soul mate’ (though perhaps not in a professional context!). In other words, the person with whom we feel rapport is ‘just like me’.

People like people who are like them.

We like people who are like us.

I like people who are like me.

The Oxford English Dictionary (OED, 1999) defines rapport in similar terms as ‘a close and harmonious relationship in which there is common understanding’. But taking a closer ...

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