Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Building Rapport

This is a fun topic :) Dictionary.com defines "rapport" as follows:

(ra-pawr, -pohr, ruh-)
Relation; connection, especially harmonious or sympathetic relation: 
a teacher trying to establish close rapport with students. 
fellowship, camaraderie, understanding.
 A good way to break it down would be rapport = relationships.  Not in the "that's my man" kinda relationship, more like friends, colleagues, associates & industry connections.  In my opinion, your rapport translates automatically to ones willingness to work or collaborate with someone else.  I wouldn't say its meaning is your reputation, but there is a direct correlation.  If you have good rapport, it builds on someones willingness to not only work with you, but recommend you as well.  Who would you rather work for.. the sweet girl with exceptional skills that everyone raves about.... or the lady with the phenomenal skills that everyone cringes when you hear her name?  I'm sayin.
Building bridges, networking, socializing... that's how you move up & around.  I've worked with many different photographers, all of whom have done wonders with their cameras.  However, I do have my go-to guys that I clicked with on a personal level & would consider "my friends" in addition to my colleagues.  I smile & laugh & joke (when appropriate of course) because no one wants to work with the stick in the mud... but it also eases situations.  Trust me when I say I'm professional at all times, but I'm easy going & more than willing to go with the flow.  Its a true compliment when anyone tells me how easy it is to work with me & it builds my rapport with them & they can say with confidence that our time together was pleasant.  
It's a lot of work building connections & getting who you are out there.  But please believe that all of that can disappear in an instant if someone has a bad experience with you.  In every industry, people are connected.  Here in the SF Bay Area, it is a large area, but within it are smaller communities & interests that overlap.  It is surprisingly easy to rub someone the wrong way & have rumors (true or untrue) spread like wildfire.  And we all know, once gossip spreads, its almost impossible to completely mend that instance.  So what am I saying?  Protect your image.  Show restraint.  Don't let em see you sweat.  And above all else, SMILE!  Thanks for reading!

**On a side note, please, for the love of cake & ice cream, do NOT pronounce it as "report".  It makes me wanna punch you in your face for your lack of vocabulary & English skills**