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Rapport is one of the most important features or characteristics of unconscious human interaction. It is commonality of perspective, being in "sync", being on the same wavelength as the person you are talking to.
There are a number of techniques that are supposed to be beneficial in building rapport such as: matching your body language (ie, posture, gesture, and so forth); maintaining eye contact; and matching breathing rhythm. Some of these techniques are explored in neuro-linguistic programming. (Main article: Rapport (NLP))
A classic if unusual example of rapport can be found in the book "Uncommon Therapy" by Jay Haley (ISBN 0393310310), about the psychotherapeutic intervention techniques of Milton Erickson. Erickson developed the ability to enter the world view of his patients and, from that vantage point (having established rapport), he was able to make extremely effective interventions (to help his patients overcome life problems).
Rapport is also significant to effective educational technique. A teacher may use rapport with students to create a more cohesive and cooperative classroom. Using the perspective of students helps the teacher to create more fitting classroom rules, objectives, and activities.
The word 'rapport' comes from the French word for 'relationship'.
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