Establishing Rapport with Individual Students

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When you want to establish rapport with students you need to do what is known in NLP as mirroring.


Q: Why would you mirror someone?

A: When you mirror another’s behavior and facial/verbal expressions, you can easily establish a rapport with that person.

Q: Will the person notice this mirroring?

A: No.  Even if it seems obvious to you it really is subtle.  Their subconscious mind will certainly notice it and even feel flattered, but the conscious mind will not notice a thing.

Q: How do your mirror someone?

A: Observe and bring into your awareness the behavior of that person.  You need to make a mental note of their behavior and you need to pay attention to everything, including what their body is doing and how they are speaking.

Q: What types of behavior can be mirrored?

A: There are two types of behavior that can be mirrored. These are:

  • Body Movements: This behavior includes the person’s posture, mannerisms, facial expressions, hand gestures, breathing patterns, eye movements, and the movement of legs and feet.
  • Verbal/Vocal Mirroring: This is mirroring of the tempo, auditory tone, and volume of a person’s speech and it is also a mirroring of the type of predicates used.

Q: What do the predicates used by the student tell me?

A: Predicates are the words that indicate the primary sense system used by the speaker.  The mimicking of predicates is crucial in the establishment of rapport with an individual.  If the person uses visual predicates and says, “I can see the final results now,” and you follow with something like, “Yes, I can feel it,” or “I can hear the applause,” then the rapport will be lost because these statements are not getting into the subconscious of the person with whom you are establishing rapport.

You might feel silly mirroring a teenager or youth, but in all honesty, if you can bring yourself into alignment with their behavior you will see a marked improvement in the way you interact with each other.  You will also see the student open up more and be more trusting of you and it is truly wonderful when this happens.

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2 Responses to “Establishing Rapport with Individual Students”

  1. Fantine

    09. May, 2011

    Very true! Makes a change to see soemnoe spell it out like that. :)

    Reply to this comment
  2. Linda

    10. May, 2011

    Fell out of bed feenlig down. This has brightened my day!

    Reply to this comment

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