Join Todd Dewett for an in-depth discussion in this video Building initial rapport, part of New Manager Fundamentals.
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Great rapport is about comfortable positive interactions that support the production of quality work. Building rapport isn't complex or mysterious. While it's true that as a leader, you must project confidence and competence, building rapport is really about you understanding and appreciating each of your team members. Establishing rapport requires positive conversations about the tasks at hand, but it also requires a little personal conversation. I want you to remember to not talk about work issues 100% of the time.
To build great relationships, you have to let them get to know you as a person. Use a small portion of time; say 5-10% discussing appropriate personal issues so they can get to know you as a human and not just as a boss. Don't completely separate work life and home life. You should feel comfortable sharing a little about who you are away from the office. For example, your biggest hobby, your favorite sports team, or maybe little facts about your family. Next, I want you to become aware of one of the most interesting decision-making challenges we all face, it's called projecting.
Projecting is when you think others think like you think about a particular issue. It's a quick unconscious assumption that's rarely accurate and can get you in trouble with the team in a hurry. Avoid projecting when you're talking to your team, whether you're talking about small issues or big issues, try not to assume their preferences identically match yours. For example, ask, where would you like to go to lunch, or what do you think about this potential hire? Ultimately, you might make decisions that your team won't always agree with, but when they feel they've been heard and understood, they'll accept your decision better.
Now just as you needed to share a little bit of information that's personal about yourself to build rapport, you also want to strive to discover personal aspects of each team member. Get to know each member of your team personally. Strive to see them as unique individuals. Listen carefully to what they say and look at how they dress and interact. Check out the pictures and other decorations in their workspace. You'll begin to see more than just a person who's technically competent. Building rapport really is about seeing them as vibrant individuals and not merely as human resources.
One final aspect of building rapport involves different ways you can show respect for your team, through brief comments, written notes, phone messages, texts, or in person, there are many opportunities to demonstrate gratitude. Let's be specific, you can show appreciation for the efforts they expend, the outcomes and milestones they achieve, and for the expertise they possess. Often, employees don't believe that their boss fully understands their job. In response, give them opportunities to demonstrate their expertise.
Of course, it must be sincere, but it can be as simple as asking someone to explain a task or a process to others. By acknowledging their skills and abilities, you're highlighting the importance of having them on the team, you're demonstrating respect. Having rapport, that sense of comfortable positive interaction is one of the hallmarks of a high performing team. You can experience strong rapport, if you'll be professional with your team and a little personal. Stop projecting when it's time to make decisions. Get to know them as unique people and find a few creative ways to show respect.
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- Clarifying performance expectations
- Feeding your learning curve
- Building rapport with your team
- Explaining your decision-making style
- Increasing your authenticity
- Communicating proactively
- Knowing when to have a meeting and who should attend
- Coping successfully with your transition<br><br>
- The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.