Monday Motivator

“Mondays are the potholes in the road of life.”   Tom Wilson

It’s Monday.  What’s in store for you this week?  More importantly, how do you feel about your new week?

  • Ever feel a bit anxious on a Sunday night?
  • Do you start the week determined to do things differently, and after 15 minutes or so find yourself doing exactly what you did last week and the week before?
  • Wish you could approach the week differently?

Sign up here for my Monday Motivator.  It will pop into your inbox every 2 weeks.  You’re busy, so it’s quick to read. You’ll find tips and hints to make your week go brilliantly.

  • feel more motivated
  • get more productive
  • improve your wellbeing
  • turn unhelpful habits into helpful ones
  • approach things differently
  • think clearly and get organised

Mondays will never be the same!

Here’s a sample:

Who do you just love spending time with?  Who makes you smile, inspires you, makes you feel good about yourself?  Who do you seek out when you need a bit of a lift?  How do they do what they do?

It would be great to bottle the skill of making other people feel good, at ease, uplifted, wouldn’t it?  This week, I thought it would be useful to focus on a little of what it takes to build rapport with others.  Your own bottle of happiness, if you like.  You’re probably quite good at this stuff already; it’s just helpful to bring it back to the top of your awareness every once in a while, and think about how you relate to others.

Rapport is built on the element of trust that exists between people. Here are 3 building blocks to think about:


Finding common ground
Whether it’s a shared interest in sport, music, travel or a mutual (business or life) challenge, it’s thought-provoking and rewarding to bond with others in a common interest.  Finding it can take time, so be prepared to talk to others over a period of time to discover your connection.  There will be one somewhere, albeit in an unlikely place!  You’ll find this a useful exercise if you need to build a relationship with someone you find a little challenging.  Asking questions about their interests can often turn up some unexpected connections.

Showing empathy
In conversations, use your listening skills carefully.  Too often, when we listen, we’re formulating our own reply, thinking about how what the other person  says relates to our own experiences.  “Oh, yes, that happened to me…  I did that last week… My experience of this was… When I tried that, I…”  The point of empathy is to try to put yourself in their shoes.  Try asking further questions instead of making comparisons with your own experience; the other person/people will appreciate the attention to their feelings, thoughts and ideas.

Used carefully, this can be a very effective way of building rapport.  It’s taught as an NLP technique, and skilled practitioners use it sensitively and often instinctively to good effect.  Try matching the body posture, tone or pitch of voice, even breathing rates (good observation skills required here!) of the other person to get into rapport.  Be mindful of how you do this, though, as done in an unsubtle way, it can be a relationship-breaker.

For interest…
Next time you’re able to watch group of people, notice how they unconsciously match, or even mis-match each other’s body language.  It will give you a clue as to the effectiveness of their rapport.  When you’re having a telephone conversation, pay attention to how the other person sounds, and match their tone, to build rapport, or if it’s a difficult conversation, try choosing and using a different (mis-matched) tone and pitch to manoeuvre the conversation round to generate a more helpful discussion.

Rapport is an important social skill in business, whether you’re a solopreneur, or work with others in an office.  Who’s in your team?  Who are the people who help you in your business? How do you get along?  How could you build on, and develop that relationship?  And remember your “team” at home too.  How could you improve your rapport there?  What else could you add to the mix in your bottle of happiness?