I have recently been on a communication skills course and we were focussing on communication techniques that work in different situations. There are a variety of different methods and specific language you can use depending on the problem or situation. Basically, you are aiming to get in rapport with the person. So, I thought I’d share some of the key pointers around being in rapport that will help you when meeting employers in a networking or interview situation.
Firstly nonverbal rapport:
* Mirror body posture, match breathing and voice tonality. Practice this with your friends and then use it when you meet employers. Initially it will feel a little strange but then will come more naturally

* Nod and have eye contact. Really look like you are listening and engaged. Do remember to blink!

* Avoid doing something else at the same time as talking with the person, such as checking your phone

* Use semi-verbal sounds such as “Mmmm”, “Ah-huh”, “Right” etc.

Secondly verbal rapport – Voice:

* Be aware of the speed and tone of your voice

* Be careful around your word choice and ask open questions such as “Tell me about..”; “how do you find…?”, “What…?”

* Reflective listening. This may initially feel like you are just repeating what they say but you will be surprised how it opens up the conversation and moves forward the discussion. Again practice on friends and family “So for you…”, “When (this happened)… you felt…”, “Sounds like…”

For more information please refer to Richard Bolstad (the communications trainer for the course) www.transformations.net.nz

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Interest, Job application, Skills development

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