Remember, people love to talk about themselves, and when they feel good, they’ll feel good about you.
Open conversations by asking about the individual’s “wow project” — something he or she is working on and really excited about, Sanders says. “Listen until they’re tired of talking about their passion project. Usually, it’s five minutes, but it will be the best five minutes of that conversation.”
You should also be thoughtful about the types of follow-up questions you ask. “Ask a question in an open-ended format that shows you’re really interested in the answer,” Lederman says. “From that point, you can listen and ask additional questions, probe a little further — don’t interrogate — or you can listen and share. When you share something of yourself on the same topic, you start to show a connection, a relatability, a commonality, and people like people like them.”
Finding common ground is also a classic technique that builds rapport. You can do this by finding things you have in common with the other person, building a relationship over time or, the most powerful way, through a third person, such as a common connection or a close friend who works in the same industry as your conversation partner.