Breaking Rapport on Purpose
There will be times in your life when breaking rapport is extremely useful. A common example is when you are busy and you need to move onto the next task but the other person wants keep on talking. You might have been in a meeting like this where you really need to move onto something else but the other person wants to continue chatting.
It is useful to learn how to break rapport gently so that you no longer have to tell the other person abruptly that it is time to go or worse to continue chatting when there are other tasks that need to be taken care of. Another situation where breaking rapport is useful is during the sales process. A salesperson who doesn’t want to be associated with the signing of a contract will sometimes break rapport just before signing so that they are not associated with the contract. Then if buyer’s remorse occurs later the customer and the salespersons relationship will be maintained. This can be a clever way to have yourself viewed as more of a guide in the sales process, helping the customer find the right product but not being directly associated with the actual exchange of money.
Another common area where breaking rapport is often used is when the subject matter is shifting into an area that is controversial and you don’t think it is in your best interests to keep discussing it. Common examples of this are religion and politics. If you value the long term relationship but don’t believe that your own beliefs will match the other persons it is a good idea to break rapport so that you can later you will still be able to lead that person.
Breaking rapport is easy. Simply do the opposite of establishing rapport. Instead of matching and mirroring the person you intentionally mismatch them. If they are breathing fast, then breath slow. If they are speaking soft, then speak loud. If they have their arms crossed, open yours wide. You can mismatch any presentation you see in the other person. The tone of voice, the body language, whatever. Remember breaking rapport is useful technique whenever you want to distance yourself from a situation or individual.
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