The short answer is yes.
Robin Dreeke is the lead instructor at the FBI’s CounterIntelligence Training Center in all behavioral and interpersonal skills training.
He knows a thing or two about a thing or two related to building rapport.
To sum his book up in one sentence: It’s not about you, it’s about them.
If you focus on them, you’re off to a good start.
Here is his list:
- Establishing Artificial Time Constraints – Let people know you plan on leaving. If you say you have to leave shortly but you want to ask a quick question, the person knows they’re not in for a long conversation.
- Accomodating Nonverbals – Smile, stand at a slight angle when talking to people, and have a slightly lower chin angle when talking to avoid giving the impression of looking down on somebody.
- Talk slower – Self explanatory; slower talkers sound more credible.
- Utilize sympathy or assistance theme – Ask people for a quick favor, either advice you need, or help with a decision you’re trying to make.
- Ego suspension – Don’t interject with your own stories. It’s not about you.
- Validate others – Listen, be thoughtful, and validate their opinions.
- Ask How, When, and Why – Anchor or solidify relationships by asking more in depth, open ended questions.
- Quid Pro Quo – Give a little information about yourself if you feel like the person is introverted or guarded, or if you think they’re conscious of how much they’ve been talking.
- Reciprocal Altruism – Give gifts (material or non-material). Keeping your focus on the other person is a gift.
- Manage Expectations – Avoid looking like a salesman by ensuring the focus is on them, not you.
This book was a very quick read and highly recommended.
Robin Dreeke also did a podcast where he discuss his book which goes over in more detail what’s mentioned above.