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Romans 12:15 “Get Along!”

"Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn."

Human Relations is a never ending process that really determines your success in your career and relationships. While this passage is just 10 words, it sums up a real key to interpersonal skills. If we are good communicators, we have to practice “getting where the other person is at” in order to relate to them. There’s empathy, getting to understand the feelings a person is experiencing without judging. There’s sympathy, or feeling sorry for the feeling a person is having. These are two important interpersonal communications, but the skill I want you to focus on is the skill of gaining rapport with another person.

Rapport origin is French and means an “intense harmonious accord.” To gain rapport, we really just want to be seen as someone who is a pleasure to know. We want to be likeable, right? In social or business situations, it’s easy to over think our actions and over try with people. I meet so many people that just seem “uncomfortable in their own skin.” That is a person trying to be something, interesting, impressive, cool, smart, or whatever; but “being” is not what creates rapport.Rapport building is a valuable skill and it’s SO simple. Try this and see if you don’t feel much more at ease with people.

First, SMILE! The beginning of every interaction is vital, and a smile says I am happy to be in your presence. Think about it, who wants to hang around a depressed, sad or mad person? A smile says “I’m glad I crossed your path.” You simply cannot underestimate the power of a sincere smile. Even mean people have trouble being mean to someone who is smiling. It’s hard to be a jerk to a happy, nice person. Go smile in the mirror and see if it doesn’t even make you happier!

Second, LIKE THE PERSON YOU ARE TALKING TO! If you don’t like someone or have a negative thought about a person, it is obvious to the person you are meeting. It’s called non-verbal communication and it’s obvious. On the other hand, if you are thinking, “I am going to like this person,” they can sense that as well. If you’re sincerely committed to learning something from every person you meet, there will never be a bad interaction. You may learn what NOT to do or be, but you can learn from everyone and anyone, and you can like them for teaching you that lesson.

Third, NEVER THINK YOU ARE BETTER THAN THEM OR THEY ARE BETTER THAN YOU! Regardless of how another person acts, you must always remember you are just a “meat suit” housing a soul of God’s. It’s a gross analogy, but it is really a great description. We’re just a carcass of meat; the real value is in our soul. Remember, “The least will be the greatest in heaven,” right? The bum you see on the street may be your boss in heaven. Never forget that being humble is a sign of maturity and everyone has the same value as a person with a soul. If the other person is pompous or conceited, it isn’t going to hurt a thing to allow them to enjoy their moment in the sun. Feed their ego, show them respect and you’ll gain a great rapport! But also remember, they are just a “meat suit” housing a soul on earth. They’ll be equal to every other soul in heaven. Smile, like them and remember, they are just one more soul.

Fourth, LISTEN and ASK QUESTIONS! When you introduce yourself, understand, the other person really couldn’t care less who you are initially. But if you show interest in them by asking questions about them, you will quickly become a very nice person. WHAT IS YOUR NAME? Then repeat their name, look them in the eye and say, “I’M GLAD TO MEET YOU!” As you do so, relate their name to someone you know and like or something positive. If you are at a social event, ask “HOW DO YOU KNOW (name of host)?” If it’s business, ask, “HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A MEMBER OF (name)?” or “HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WITH (company name)?” Make a list of questions you can ask people to show your interest in them. Then ask questions!! And when they ask you a question, provide a SHORT answer and again ask them another question about what they seem interested in talking about, themselves, their profession, hobby and their family!

As you follow these simple steps, you’ll learn where the person is coming from and what is important to them. If they are rejoicing, rejoice with them! If they are mourning, mourn with them! Learn something from them and mirror their countenance. If you practice these skills of rapport building, you’ll be following godly advice, and you’ll find people happy to be around you. That is a recipe for a more productive and happy day!

PS -My father, Grandpa Ted had a saying, “5% of people, God Himself can’t please.” If you give your best to follow these steps and a person just disrespects you anyway, don’t sweat it. Just give your best to them anyway! God will take care of those folks in His own way!

A personal message...

“These devotions were written to my four children, Christian, Mike, Allison and Alex. By the kids allowing these to be shared publicly, our hope is that the devotions will make a positive and eternal difference in the lives of other young people as they mature. Enjoy. Rick Isaacson”

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©Rick Isaacson