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Posted: 02 Dec, 2020

On Thursday 26th November, TMA NextGen hosted a mentoring session with Adrian Doble, a qualified NLP Master, CBT Coach and hypnotherapist, who shared with the audience of young professionals some ways to build rapport with and influence their boss. For young professionals, whose quality of life will likely depend on the relationship with their boss, Adrian’s session showed that it’s possible to take control of the relationship and make life less stressful by influencing decisions that affect them.

Thank you to Anna Nolan, President of TMA NextGen London, for moderating this webinar and of course to everyone who joined the session. You can find the recording here.

How can you build rapport with and influence your boss?

Adrian began his session by explaining that everyone filters their thoughts not through logic, but through unconscious filters called meta-programs. He explained that you can use these meta-programs to better understand other people and their psychological tendencies.

According to Adrian, there are several meta-programs you can use to understand people.

Moving towards or moving away
Necessity or possibility
Sameness or difference
Global or specific
External or internal
Self or others

Using these meta-programs to better understand your boss is effective because you can use them to adapt your behaviour and approach to communicating with them. Such changes can improve your relationship with your boss by helping you to develop deeper levels of rapport and potentially influence them to your way of thinking.

According to Adrian, this is possible because meta-programs provide you with an insight into someone’s motivations and once you understand their motivations, you will be able to influence their decisions and actions.

To further explain, Adrian shared some examples. Looking first at the ‘moving towards or moving away’ meta-program, Adrian explained that as restructuring professionals, most of us excel and get pleasure in moving people away from pain. However, most entrepreneurs will be motivated by moving towards pleasure, often excited about their next venture. This mix could lead to a lack of rapport between us and our clients, neither understanding the other’s point of view. But if we can understand how they might be motivated, we can try to think the way they do and adapt our communication style accordingly.

Next, Adrian gave an example of how those who view the world through ‘sameness’ and those who view it through ‘differences’ can find common ground and build rapport, even though they view the world very differently. While someone viewing the world through ‘sameness’ is often optimistic, approving, and tends to look for similarities and common ground, someone who views it in ‘differences’ will often look for dissimilarities and tends to find faults in things, in circumstances, and in others. If you identify your boss as someone who looks for similarities in things, you can build rapport with them by listening, finding common ground and mirroring their experiences and values.

Finally, Adrian shared another useful tool that can be employed in the pursuit of building rapport. To understand someone’s communication style, he said it can be useful to categorise them as either a ‘dog type’ or ‘cat type’ personality.

While dog types may be more approachable, creative and loyal, cat types might be more sensitive, guarded and independent.

According to Adrian, once you understand if someone is a dog type or cat type, you can find some commonality and a sense of sameness. Creating a sense of sameness will help you develop a healthy emotional bond and greater levels of trust with people around you at work, including your boss.

“Communicate with your boss the way they prefer to communicate, and you will soon see a rise in rapport. Build rapport and you’ll start to be able to manage the boss.”

We thank Adrian for sharing his insights and hope they will prove useful for any young professionals looking to increase their influence at work.

The Next TMA NextGen event will be a webinar on 2nd December on ‘Influence: Your Business and Market Impact in a Covid Era’ hosted and sponsored by Foot Anstey. Register here.

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