Magazine article Journal of Property Management

Building Dynamic Relationships

Magazine article Journal of Property Management

Building Dynamic Relationships

Article excerpt

If you had five minutes to build a good relationship with a stranger - and failure meant death - what would you do? Just knowing the answer to this question gives you an advantage.

Being good at the relationship building process dramatically skyrockets your success both personally and professionally.

To find out how much you already know about the science of relationship building, mark your answers to the true and false questions below. As you read through the article, you will find out how well you did on the quiz.

1. Immediate rapport between people is a natural phenomenon which is difficult to learn. T/F

2. Most people remember more of what we say than how we say it. T/F

3. Eating a meal with someone increases their liking for you. T/F

4. People have to perceive praise to be true for it to have a positive effect. T/F

5. Humor is a very important persuasive tool. T/F

Immediate rapport

During the last decade, there has been significant research devoted to understanding the basis of rapport, or empathy between people. While most of us have had the experience of meeting someone and immediately "connecting" with them, research has found that this rapport is based on some specific elements which we can learn to create.

Underlying these elements is the awareness that as humans we have three major channels with which we impact others. These are the "Three V's": visual, vocal, and verbal. Studies have indicated a difference in the importance of each of the three when we meet others for the first time. Visual impressions account for 55 percent of the overall impact and include your overall movements, plus dress. Vocal impressions make up 38 percent and are comprised of how your voice sounds, i.e., is it sincere, uncertain, or enthusiastic. Verbal impressions account for only 7 percent and are essentially what you say.

When we use the telephone, the visual channel is obviously lost and that impact converts mainly to vocal. As humans, we then build a visual image from the sound of someone's voice. Have you ever had the experience of building an image of your favorite radio disc jockey, only to be shocked when you see the real person?

As vocal impressions make up the major channel on the phone, our voice has to contain the sounds to build both credibility and rapport. Without the proper inflection and intonation patterns to signal credibility, for example, our listeners may not have confidence in our message.

Even worse than sounding unsure, people may have a strong negative reaction if our vocal qualities and words do not send the same message. Studies have found that listeners have a definite negative reaction to incongruent messages, where the words send one message and the voice sends another. The words represent the logical part of the message, and the voice represents the emotional. When you hear this incongruence, which do you believe? Studies have found that most people believe the emotional - or vocal part of the message.

Bottom line then, is that we first have to make a positive connection with people by being congruent before we can begin to build rapport. The first step to build rapport, according to research, is to create a feeling of similarity. As humans, we feel comfortable and have a feeling of empathy for those whom we see as similar to us.


The fact that it is not unusual for weathermen to be threatened with bodily harm illustrates the second important principle - association. As humans, our minds are constantly connecting events, feelings, and situations. …

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