Our rapport resource can help us all meet our emotional needs
Workplace Wellbeing Trainer, Jo Flack explains how we can use our rapport resource to help us all meet our emotional needs at this time of social distancing and isolation.
I am a huge fan of Tottenham Hotspur Football club. How does that opening statement make you feel….? Distant from me because you have zero interest in football. Connected with me because you also support the mighty Spurs? Or a bit hostile towards me because you support a rival club? Whatever your reaction you have made a pattern match in your mind to my statement and, if your match was positive, then I may have successfully built rapport with you in my first sentence.
The ability to build rapport is an innate resource we all have to help us connect with, and empathise with, others. It works with our pattern matching resource and our emotions to help us to relate to other people and meet our need for attention and emotional connection.
Building rapport with others can be easier if you have something in common (like a football club) and some people naturally find it easier to build rapport than others. But the ability to build rapport is innate in all of us from birth. Babies are expert rapport builders; those cute gurgles and wide-eyed smiles are calculated to build a connection so that baby gets fed and gets its other needs looked after.
Developing the skill of establishing and building rapport is important in helping us to get our needs well met.
So how can we use our rapport resource to help us all meet our emotional needs at this time of social distancing and isolation?
- Relating to others helps us to realise that we are all in this together and sharing challenges can help give us a sense of being connected with others and meet our need for community.
- Connecting with others however we can, be it by phone, video call or social media can help meet our needs for attention.
- Staying in touch specifically with our loved ones can give us the emotional connection we need to stay well.
- Actively and consciously using rapport to connect meaningfully with those we may be sharing a household with to help promote positive interactions.
- We could also use our empathy to help others – being needed by others helps us meet our need for meaning and purpose in life.
- Putting ourselves in the metaphorical shoes of others can also allow us to help others meet their need for respect and status, so that everyone feels valued for their contribution to the current situation from front-line hospital staff through to those of us staying at home.
Author: Kristina Brinkley