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Combining NLP & EFT Part 2 – The Doors to Rapport

by Alexander R. Lees, DCH, RCC

I have observed many "masters" in the healing professions at work, and I began to discover certain patterns exist in their approach, and that learning the patterns can be similar to discovering there is a map for the territory. All journeys begin with a first step, and each step leads to another and so on, until the journey is completed. The only variables are when, and how.

To unpack how they do what they do, I propose we start by exploring what they do, so that others can begin to generate their own maps, their own pathways that lead to elegance. We will discover on this journey of learning that there are many parts, or steps along the way. This article will mention or unpack a few of these for you.

Step one is rapport. As a matter of fact, rapport should be considered a prerequisite. Rapport is a precursor to trust, or the glue that holds everything together. Another metaphor for rapport is "The Golden Thread" that links a conversation together.

Rapport can be established in a variety of ways. Some books on the subject advocate matching the other person's body language, facial expressions, voice tonality, rhythm and volume, and word patterns. Any of these can be combined, or used alone, and once an individual decides to practise and integrate this ability you will be surprised and perhaps delighted to discover how much more easily the conversation can flow. Here is a short list of examples, just to give you an idea.

$ The person you are helping speaks in a rhythm, and the rhythm is in the form of groups of words. Let's say you have noticed they tend to group their words (groups of words are referred to as sentences, for those that may have forgotten!) by approximately five or six words.

$ The practitioner would then begin to answer in the same manner, groups or sentences of five or six words.

$ Another example might be the person's tone is quite "flat," or monotone. The practitioner can adjust their own delivery to match this tone.

$ Still another example might be the person tends to cross their legs at the ankles. The practitioner can cross the arms at the wrists, or cross their legs at the ankles.

Another important extension of the concept of rapport is an NLP process called pacing and leading. Practising the steps to rapport allows the practitioner that also uses a tapping procedure (such as EFT) to enter the client's model of the world (pacing) more easily, which in turn allows for a fuller understanding of the problem presented.

Once this step is achieved, (rapport) the practitioner would then "test" by offering a solution, namely tapping "out" the blocking emotion, or tapping "in" the resource required (lead).

Pace and lead is also an excellent way to "test" for rapport itself. The practitioner can match some aspect of the client's body language, etc. (pace) and then subtly adjust the personal physiology or voice speed, tone or volume, and then notice if the client also makes an adjustment (leading). If the client does so, rapport is established. If the client does not, this is simply feedback for the practitioner to continue to establish rapport (pacing) and test again by leading.

Rapport, pace and lead can also take other forms. For instance, the practitioner has been listening to the client, and then might interject by stating the problem presented in a succinct form, and then add, "And I assume this is what you would like to change," or any other statement suggesting, "Let's work on that."

If the client indicates acceptance, rapport, pace and lead have been successful. If the client answers, "Yes, but... " and continues to offer further information, the practitioner may then decide to pace (listen) further, and then test again in the same way: Namely offer a succinct statement referring to the problem, and another request to begin change work.

The above is but a small representation of some of those factors that influence the quality of the delivery of meridian tapping techniques such as EFT, and the quality of communication in general. Hopefully it will allow the curious student to realize that all communication, and the art of tapping, have a structure, and therefore it is learnable

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Posted: 10/08/2009

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