Rapport as a target and a tool

Given the importance of rapport I think it’s not surprising that we can see so many steps before and after you achieve a functioning relationship. The same goes for some of the views on rapport and what it can be used for.
The traditional use of rapport, I guess, is to establish an ongoing transaction of information about various tasks, plans and at least the foundation of accountability in general. The construct itself can be used in many ways but let us, for the sake of the next step, agree to contain it within these boundaries. What is just as fascinating as the process of becoming, is the fact of existing.

What happens after we have established rapport, is that the phenomenon starts living its own full life. There are different situations which can form the value of what you have established. For example, two siloed entities (forgive the impersonal term) can use rapport to exchange information on current tasks. A manager and a subordinate would use it to synchronise efforts to meet a common goal. Functioning rapport in a horizontal organisational structure can facilitate goal setting, or be used as means for leveraging information to set up a “game” in the sense of TA.

What these examples lead us to conclude, is that rapport is a tool, but it can also serve as means to an end. This is especially interesting within different organisation settings. To say this another way, sometimes rapport can be used to meet a goal, or it can be the goal itself. If the situation is changing rapidly, then rapport itself can be the balancing point which keeps a mechanism going. Depending on the people involved, or even the functional frame of operation, focus can shift from rapport to a goal, and after the goal is passed or achieved, attention will scrow back to rapport, allowing for a new goal to be set, or sometimes negotiated.

Believe it or not, both these steps occur on various schedules. Some of them are occurring daily, others cannot be undone. Taking another step back from the daily routine, what drives your culture?

Photo by KellarW


Leave a Reply