You can only help someone transform to the degree that they entrust you to help them transform.

Have you ever been referred to someone, perhaps an expert in a field, someone top of their game, who gets rave reviews, but when you meet them you wonder what all the hype is about? You just don’t feel a connection. You don’t feel seen, heard, understood.

A person can be top of their game, world-renowned but unless they take the time from the minute you make the connection (on the phone or via Skype or email or in person) to establish rapport, their expertise are of no effect.

Plant the Seeds of a Good Relationship with Your Clients

Establishing rapport is similar to tilling the soil to plant the seeds. It’s about creating a safe space for your clients before working your magic.

What is Rapport?

It’s a coaching technique that allows you to build trust between yourself and your client.

Why You Should Build a Good Rapport with Your Clients

And why is it important? If trust isn’t present, your client will resist change work and they won’t get the results they want. If rapport isn’t present, your client’s armor goes up instead of coming down. Rapport is the first essential step in a coaching relationship.

What are Some Tips for Building Rapport with Someone?

So if rapport creates trust, how do you establish it?

You tune in to your client to get on the same page. You pay attention to how they are feeling, their body language, their word choice and their tone of voice. Then you try to match it. If a client is depressed and talking softly and you respond in a loud, gregarious voice, they are going to feel defensive.

Similarly, if your client is upbeat and enthusiastic and you speak softly and show little emotion, that person will also feel “unmatched”. So part of establishing rapport is mirroring your client so they feel more at home with you, like you get them, you’re on the same page.

Don’t Be a Phony Health and Wellness Coach!

Mirroring your client doesn’t mean you must be disingenuous and wear different masks with different clients. Establishing rapport does not mean you turn into a chameleon. It means you are strong in your core, in your center and you can still match your client in subtle ways that they won’t even notice, but will make them feel safe and seen.

Learn How to Become Comfortable with Yourself to Be a Better Coach

That’s how trust is built. From the start. Establishing rapport is the single most important skill you can learn as a coach and unless you’re naturally good at it, it can take practice.

So be gentle with yourself and know that the more practice you have with a variety of clients, the better you’ll be until establishing rapport is second nature.

Become a Health Coach or Join a Coach Mastery Program

Health Coach Institute offers a comprehensive health and wellness coaching program to help coaches learn how to build better rapport. For coaches looking for advanced courses, the HCI Coach Mastery Program is offered as a continuing education course. Schedule your consultation with a Health Coach Institute member to enroll in classes!

Feel free to get in touch with with one of our clarity coaches directly, by calling 1-800-303-2399.


Health Coach Institute provides aspiring Health and Life Coaches with the tools, training, and support to make a great living transforming lives.