Remember the blog story I wrote earlier this month about the power of friendships?
It all starts from building and developing rapport. No matter if you are an autistic self-advocate, a teacher, a parent, a therapist, etc., building a trusting and positive relationship is key for success in life. Trust and empathy can be developed in just minutes within social interactions and situations. So, how do you build and develop rapport with others?
Here are the steps:
Check your appearance, because first impressions matter. Dress up as if you are meeting someone for the first time ever.
Know the basics of good communication: be culturally appropriate, smile, relax, remember people's names, hold your head up high and maintain good posture, and listen to people carefully and attentively.
Find common ground in regards of special interests. Talk about special interests you have in common. For example, my boyfriend and I talk a lot about music, since we both listen to a ton of common musicians and bands; our friendship developed from having a common interest. Make sure to talk about common interests because that's how connections are made.
Create shared experiences in order to grow rapport. For example, families who have autistic children want to connect with others who have autistic children. They could attend special education workshops together. That is a way of developing rapport!
Be empathic! Empathy is about understanding others from seeing things from their perspective. This is a great emotion for RBTs and behavior analysts to teach autistic clients in their sessions because it can help with social interactions and help them grow their relationships in life. By being empathic, rapport is developed in a shorter amount of time.
Do you think developing rapport is key for autistic people's success? Share your thoughts in the comments section!