Have you ever had the opportunity to speak to a parrot? It sounds odd, but what I mean is to listen to a parrot mock the words you speak to it? Interestingly enough, the parrot is performing a very basic technique used in NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming). The parrot is obviously not doing this on purpose, but it does demonstrate the technique almost perfectly. One of the fastest and easiest ways to develop a connection with someone is torepeat what they say and approve it.
Repeat & Approve
Now this will come across as the obvious and you may experience a moment of “duh”, so give me a chance to explain. Most people automatically talk in the way I’m about to explain already. However, they talk this way with people they are already comfortable or friends with.
Example: 2 friends already in rapport
John: Hey Jack, I just bought a new car!
Jack: You bought a new car? That’s fantastic! What did you get?
John: A Range Rover.
Jack: A Range Rover. You’re kidding, that’s awesome! How much did ya get it for?
Every time John makes a comment in their conversation, Jack repeats what he says, then approves of it. This shows that you are actively listening to the person you are talking to and that you are genuinely interested in what they have to say. You do this by repeating what they just said (shows that you are listening) and approving it (shows interest). Pretty simple right?
Here is another example of how this can be used in a business scenario (Jack is selling John on why he needs sales training):
Example: 2 friends already in rapport
Jack: So John, how much money did you make last year?
John: I made about $100,000 last year
Jack: You made $100,000, that’s excellent!
John: Yeah, thanks, I worked my butt off for that money.
Jack: Worked your butt off, I hear ya brother, and that’s fantastic. How much do you want to make this year?
John: My goal is to double it…so around $200,000.
Jack: You want to double it to $200,000, that’s perfect. Obviously you realize that in order for you to double up your business you need to do one of two things….
John: What’s that?
Jack: You need to either to double the work you do or you need to use your time more efficiently. Which way would you prefer?
John: More efficient way of course…
Jack: The more efficient way, good. That’s exactly why a person like you is the perfect candidate for my training system. Let me explain
Positive Words That Show Approval:
- That’s Great
- Smart move
- That’s perfect
- Good for you
What if They Say Something Negative?
If someone your talking to you just told you that their aunt just died, you should NOT say “your aunt just died? That’s fantastic!”
Neutral/Negative Words That Show Approval:
- I see…
- you don’t say
You should always be careful when responding to something negative. Use the word “interesting”. That’s typically the best approval word that allows you to move forward during an awkward comment.
When I give you advice on how to become a persuasive communicator, I expect you to use the techniques such as this one appropriately. What’s important with the Repeat & Approve technique is that when you speak, your tonality should come across with sincerity. Although, I would obviously imagine you being sincere to begin with.
Don’t place your focus on repeating everything they say. By that I mean, you don’t want them to come out of a trance and be aware of something that seems amiss. When I say trance, I mean that their main focus is the current conversation with you. If you do something totally out of the blue, you will interrupt their pattern and cause them to get out of their trance. Pattern interruption is actually another technique I will teach you next time which CAN be deliberately used toward your advantage. So be cautious when implementing this technique for the first time.
To implement this new strategy right away, have a conversation with someone you don’t get a long with that well. Be as genuinely interested as you possibly can but don’t go “overkill”. The good news about developing a connection with someone is that you almost instantly know if you’re in rapport with them or not. Just be consciously aware of how you feel throughout the conversation.
After you do this, come back and tell me… was there a difference in your level of communication?