Building Rapport for Effective Communication

By: Lavena Ang

Effective communication is achieved when all parties involved are satisfied in achieving their objectives from the conversation.

How do you react and response when communicating with others? Do you always say the right things at the right time? Do you then wish to always say the right things at the right time? The truth is: you could really do that.

Have you ever wondered why do our eyes move upwards, downwards, to the left, and to the right? They definitely do not move to entertain: each eye movement reflects and indicates internal neurological information processing where our brain and nervous system work interactively together.

Our eyes move to send signals to the brain and stimulate its sensory systems to access information. By observing which direction a person moves the eyes, you are able to recognise how that person represents information: visually, auditorily or kinaesthetically.

Understanding how a person represents its internal information (representational system) allows you to build rapport with them easily. When you move your eyes up, you are seeing visuals internally, so if someone speaks to you using visual words, they are connecting to you in the same wavelength.

The following explains the eye movement cues:

Looking up, left - Recalling an image or picture.

Looking up, right - Imagining images or pictures.

Centre, left - Recalling what was previously heard.

Centre, right - Creating and inventing new sounds.

Looking down, left - Self-conversation.

Looking down, right - Going through own feelings and emotions.

If you are a salesperson promoting a product and your female customer pauses and looks up (visual) towards the right (imagining), she is probably visualising herself using the product.

By demonstrating to her further how your product can benefit her, you are clearing her visualisation doubts. If she then moves her eyes down to the left (self-talk), she may be convincing herself to the purchase. By asking her questions and answers them all, the sale has a high chance of being transacted.

We tend to move our eyes before we speak. When you have the ability to know which representational systems (rep systems) others use, you are able to communicate more effectively to them.

When making a business presentation on a product, it's wise to observe your audience eye directions. By keeping their eyes up indicate that they are highly visual; make sure you have lots of images and pictures to satisfy their visual needs. If you continue with your speech (auditory) or ask them how they feel (kinaesthetic) about your product, your audience will not stay with you, as you are not connected to them in the same frequency.

What does it mean then when the eyes move continuously left and right? Yes, that person is recalling information and at the same time, making up information. It may, but not necessary, mean that the person is uncertain or untruthful about what they are saying. Because when an answer is something that has never been thought about, then you may have to think about it (right) together with recalling (left) the information for the answer.

The above explained eye movement cues does not apply to everyone: a left-handed person will not effect the same rep systems as a right-hander. Do not assume that all patterns to be reversed: visuals might be recalled on the left while audios recalled on the right, but the patterns used will be consistent and regular. By observing the same person's rep systems closely, you will be able to detect the different positions effectively.

To experiment how your rep systems access informationFeature Articles, ask yourself some questions and see where your eyes move. What is the colour of the top you wore yesterday? Did your eyes move up to the left? Isn't it interesting?

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