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Officially, the word rapport is defined as a friendly, harmonious relationship. Especially: a relationship characterized by agreement, mutual understanding, or empathy that makes communication possible or easy.
Rapport goes further than simply talking about the weather or doing small talk over the water cooler.
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A few telltale signs that you share a good rapport with a colleagues:
Tighter bonds and relationships: Science says that we all share a basic human motivation to affiliate with other people, and rapport helps us feel closer to the people we work with.
How much do you really know about your coworkers? You might know little quirks like that Arial is their preferred font or that they can’t stand when someone doesn’t clear the cooking time from the break room microwave.
Ask yourself this: Are you asking them out of a sense of obligation and politeness? Or are you asking because you’re genuinely curious about how they’re doing? There’s a big difference—and most of us can usually sense which category someone falls into.
In all honesty, almost everything you need to know about building rapport and being a good colleague you likely learned in kindergarten with this golden rule: treat others the way you want to be treated.
You spend a lot of time interacting with your coworkers, but that doesn’t mean you inherently share a tight-knit relationship. In fact, 41% of Americans say their coworkers are just that: coworkers.
Rapport isn’t about engaging in trivial small talk with someone once or twice—that might make for an acquaintance, but not necessarily a colleague with whom you share mutual trust and understanding.
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