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  • Hello. This is 6 Minute English from BBC Learning English. I'm Neil.

  • And I'm Georgina.

  • Georgina and I have got to know each other very well after working together for so long.

  • I know what sandwiches Neil has for lunch. Egg and tomato, right, Neil?

  • Right! And I know it really annoys Georgina when people don't wash up their cups in the staff kitchen.

  • So unhygienic!

  • But just as important as getting to know someone, socially or at work, is getting on with people.

  • To get on with someone is a useful phrasal verb, meaning to like someone and enjoy a friendly relationship with them.

  • Which is really important if you work with them every day!

  • And there's another word to describe the good understanding and communication between two friends: rapport.

  • Yes, how you build rapport and get on with people has been the subject of many self-help books over the years, and is the topic of this programme.

  • Well, you and I must have great rapport, Georgina, because that leads perfectly into my quiz question.

  • In 1936, American writer Dale Carnegie wrote a famous self-help book on building rapport.

  • It sold over 30 million copies, making it one of the best-selling books of all time - but what was it called?

  • Is it: a) How to get rich quick?, b) How to stop worrying and make friends?, or c) How to win friends and influence people?

  • I think I know this, Neil.

  • I'm going to say, c) How to win friends and influence people.

  • OK, Georgina, we'll find out if that's right at the end of the programme.

  • When it comes to getting on with people, psychologist Emily Alison has a few ideas.

  • She's built a career working with the police as they build rapport with criminal suspects.

  • Emily is the author of a new book "Rapport: the four ways to read people", and she told BBC Radio 4 programme "All In The Mind" it isn't easy to get along with everyone:

  • I often describe rapport-building in relationships as like walking a tightrope.

  • Because you really do need to maintain that balance of being objective, treating people with compassion,

  • but that doesn't mean I'm sympathetic, I'm collusive - it's that balance between judgement and avoidance.

  • Emily describes rapport building as like walking a tightrope, an idiom to describe being in a difficult situation which requires carefully considering what to do.

  • Building rapport with "terrorists" or violent criminals isn't easy.

  • Emily doesn't sympathise with what they have done, but she tries to remain objective - to base her judgement on the facts, not personal feelings.

  • In her book, Emily identifies four main communication styles which she names after animals.

  • The best at building rapport is the friendly and cooperative monkey.

  • And there's a pair of opposites: the bossy lion, who wants to take charge and control things, and the more passive mouse.

  • Here's Emily talking to BBC Radio 4's "All In The Mind" about the fourth animal, the T-Rex.

  • Try to listen out for the communication style of this personality:

  • You've got the T-Rex which is conflict - so this is argument, whether you're approaching it from a positive position where you can be direct, frank about your message

  • or you approach that in a negative way by being attacking, judgmental, argumentative, sarcastic, and that actually breeds the same behaviour back.

  • So anyone who has teenagers will 100% recognise that - if you meet sarcasm with sarcasm, it's only going to go one way.

  • All four communication styles have good and bad points.

  • On the positive side, T-Rex type people are frank - they express themselves in an open, honest way.

  • But T-Rex types can also be sarcastic - say the opposite of what they really mean, in order to hurt someone's feelings or criticise them in a funny way.

  • Yes, sarcasm is a strange thing - like saying, "Oh, I really like your haircut", when in fact you don't!

  • Yes. There's an English saying that sarcasm is the lowest form of humour, but I think British people can be quite sarcastic at times.

  • Well, I can't image you'd make many friends being rude to people.

  • Maybe they should read Dale Carnegie's self-help book.

  • Ah yes, your quiz question, Neil. Was my answer right?

  • In my quiz question, I asked Georgina for the title of Dale Carnegie's best-selling self-help book about building rapport.

  • What did you say?

  • I said the book is called, c) How to win friends and influence people.

  • Which is the correct answer!

  • And I guess you've read it, Georgina, because you have lots of friends.

  • I hope you're not being sarcastic, Neil!

  • Absolutely not! I'm not a sarcastic T-Rex type, more of a friendly monkey!

  • OK, well, let's stay friends and recap the vocabulary from this programme, starting with rapport - a good feeling between two people based on understanding and communication.

  • If you get on with someone, you like and enjoy a friendly relationship with them.

  • Walking a tightrope means to be in a difficult situation which requires careful consideration of what to do.

  • To be objective is to base your actions on facts rather than personal feelings.

  • When building rapport with someone, it's good to be frank - to express yourself in an open, honest way.

  • But not sarcastic - to say the opposite of what you really mean, in order to hurt someone's feelings or criticise them in a humorous way.

  • Well, Neil, if we run over six minutes we'll break our rapport with the 6 Minute English producer, so that's all for this programme!

  • Join us again soon for more trending topics and useful vocabulary.

  • And remember to download the BBC Learning English app and stay friends by following us on social media.

  • Bye for now!

  • Bye!

Hello. This is 6 Minute English from BBC Learning English. I'm Neil.

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Building rapport with others - 6 Minute English

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/07/06
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