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Failure to build rapport leads to poor coaching


It is shocking to me that in some of the most known coaching methodologies (including those recognized by big international coaching bodies), rapport building isn’t taught. They may say it is required to have with a client, but then either fail completely or do an inadequate job teaching starting coaches as to how to build rapport specifically.

Rapport building techniques

There are actually techniques to build rapport, which is trained extensively in the NLP Practitioner course. The success or failure of your rapport building, is the most determining factor in your effectiveness as a coach. If the client doesn’t feel at ease, on board, and trusting the process…you may as well close your coaching practice or may be missing some opportunities. The limits of your effectiveness increases the better you learn how to build rapport.

Tips and tricks to prevent failure to build rapport

Here are some tips and tricks for those whom have never taken a training in rapport building:

1. Be sure that you are in a calm, confident, and relaxed state yourself. As a coach it is important that you learn how to switch emotional states very quickly. Pick up some basic NLP books, to help you out on this need be.

2. Check your own personal problems and opinions out at the door.

3. Meet the client in their map of the world. It is equally if not more important that you understand the client, as the client is to understand you. Be sure to speak their language, get an understanding of the world they live in. Without turning into a stage provider or enabler of course.

4. Operate from a place of professionalism, integrity, confidence, passion, and the desire to move a person into a better place.

5. Be prepared, for a starting coach it is not abnormal to spend one hour in preparation for each 1 hour coaching session.

6. Coaching is inborn talent but also a learned skill. You need training in order to do the job! It isn’t about being a good friend or an advisor.

7. Make sure your presentation is flawless, dress the part, if you use any intake forms, be sure they look amazing. Some are also available in our store.

8. Understand that coaching is about building a coach-client relationship. As in any relationship that ultimately ends up having rapport, take it easy, take it slow, and get to know each other. Instead of rushing through the session. The client can’t move any faster than they are at ease with what you are doing.

9. Make sure that your office or the location of coaching is indicative of a professional! 

10. Be real and yourself. That’s the best way to build rapport while coaching.


To actually learn how a master communicator would build rapport, which is what is really required for coaching is something that really can’t be taught in a blog post. It is a series of techniques, that are to be demonstrated, practiced and learned in an NLP seminar setting.

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