The Dos and Donts of Building Rapport in Change Management



Building Rapport with team hands

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Are you struggling to build strong relationships with stakeholders during a period of change management? Building rapport can be a challenging undertaking, but it’s crucial for achieving positive outcomes. In this article, we’ll explore the dos and don’ts of building rapport in change management, and provide you with strategies for maintaining strong relationships with your stakeholders.

First, let’s talk about why building rapport is so important. When you’re implementing changes in an organization, you need buy-in from your stakeholders. Without their support, your efforts will be met with resistance, and you may struggle to achieve the goals you’ve set. Building rapport is the key to getting that buy-in.

When you have strong relationships with your stakeholders, they’re more likely to trust you, listen to your ideas, and support your efforts. So, let’s dive into some of the dos and don’ts of building rapport in change management.

The Importance of Building Rapport in Change Management

Establishing a genuine connection is crucial when navigating through a sea of shifting tides. Building rapport is the foundation of successful change management. It helps you gain trust and credibility, which are essential for managing resistance and overcoming obstacles.

By establishing rapport, you can create an environment where people feel comfortable sharing their concerns, ideas, and feedback. The benefits of building rapport include improved communication, increased collaboration, and a more positive attitude towards change. When people feel heard and understood, they’re more willing to embrace new ideas and work together towards a common goal.

However, building rapport can also present challenges, especially in situations where trust has been eroded. It requires patience, empathy, and a willingness to listen and understand different perspectives.

Measuring success in building rapport can be challenging, but there are some key indicators to look out for. For example, if people are more willing to participate in meetings and provide feedback, it may be a sign that they feel more comfortable with the change process. Additionally, if there is a greater sense of collaboration and teamwork, it may be an indication that rapport has been established.

Ultimately, success in building rapport should be measured by the extent to which people are willing to embrace change and work together towards a common goal.

Dos: Strategies for Building Strong Relationships

To build strong relationships, you want to make sure you’re using effective strategies that will help you establish connections with others. Did you know that according to a study by the Harvard Business Review, strong relationships can lead to a 20% increase in performance?

Here are four strategies that can help you build rapport in change management:

  1. Active Listening: One of the most important ways to build rapport is by actively listening to others. This means not only hearing what they say but also understanding their perspective and responding appropriately. When you actively listen, you show that you value the other person’s opinion and are willing to work together to find a solution.
  2. Authenticity: Another key strategy for building rapport is authenticity. Be honest about your own feelings and opinions, and don’t be afraid to show vulnerability. When you are authentic, you build trust with others, and they’re more likely to open up to you in return.
  3. Mutual Respect: It is essential to show mutual respect when building relationships, especially in change management. This means acknowledging the other person’s expertise and experience, even if you don’t always agree with them. When you show respect, you create a safe environment for open communication and collaboration.
  4. Empathy: Finally, empathy is crucial in building strong relationships. Try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes and understand their perspective. When you show empathy, you demonstrate that you care about the other person’s feelings and are committed to finding a solution that works for everyone.

By using these strategies, you can build strong relationships that will help you navigate change management successfully. Remember, building rapport is an ongoing process that requires effort and dedication. But the benefits of strong relationships are worth it in the long run.

Don’ts: Common Pitfalls to Avoid

You don’t want to fall into common traps that could harm your relationships and hinder your success when trying to build rapport in change management.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is not addressing resistance. Change can be difficult for people, and they may resist it. However, ignoring their concerns will only make things worse. Instead, acknowledge their fears and work with them to overcome resistance.

Another pitfall to avoid is managing expectations poorly. When you set unrealistic expectations, people will become frustrated and lose trust in you. It’s important to be clear about what you can and cannot do, and to communicate this effectively with everyone involved. If you promise something that you cannot deliver, it will be difficult to rebuild trust.

Lastly, don’t forget to keep the lines of communication open. Building rapport is all about creating a connection between people. If you’re not communicating regularly, that connection will weaken. Make sure you’re checking in with everyone involved, listening to their concerns, and addressing them in a timely manner. When you’re open and transparent, people will be more likely to trust you and work with you towards a successful outcome.

Maintaining Rapport: Follow-Through and Consistency

It’s crucial to maintain the connection you’ve built with your team by following through on your promises and being consistent in your actions. Consistency challenges may arise, but it’s important to remain committed to your team and the project.

One way to do this is by providing regular updates on the project’s progress or checking in on how everyone is doing. By doing so, you demonstrate your dedication to the team’s success and strengthen the rapport you’ve established.

Long term rapport requires ongoing effort and attention. It’s not enough to build a strong connection with your team only to neglect it later on. By continuing to invest in the relationship, you can build trust and create a positive work environment.

This includes following through on any commitments you’ve made and ensuring that your actions align with your words. By maintaining rapport, you also increase the likelihood of future success.

When team members feel valued and supported, they are more likely to be engaged and committed to the project. This can lead to higher productivity, better communication, and a more positive workplace culture.

So, keep the connection alive by consistently showing up for your team, and you’ll see the long-term benefits.

Achieving Positive Outcomes Through Effective Rapport-Building

Creating a positive work environment and increasing productivity can be achieved by consistently investing in and strengthening relationships with your team. Building rapport is crucial for change management, as it establishes trust and transparency between leaders and their team members.

One way to achieve positive outcomes through effective rapport-building is by showing empathy and listening to your team members. When you take the time to listen to their concerns and offer support, you create a safe space for open communication and collaboration.

Another important aspect of effective rapport-building is trust and transparency. Leaders who are transparent about their plans and decisions create a sense of trust among their team members. This level of trust can lead to increased productivity and better outcomes for the team as a whole.

In conclusion, effective rapport-building is essential to achieving positive outcomes in change management. By showing empathy and actively listening to your team members, you create a safe space for open communication and collaboration. Additionally, being transparent and building trust with your team members can lead to increased productivity and better outcomes for everyone involved. Remember to consistently invest in and strengthen your relationships with your team, and you’ll see the benefits in the long run.


Now that you know the dos and don’ts of building rapport in change management, you’re well on your way to achieving positive outcomes.

Remember, building strong relationships takes time, effort, and consistency. But the payoff is worth it.

By establishing trust and open communication, you’ll be able to navigate change with ease and ensure everyone is on board.

For example, let’s say you’re implementing a new software program in your department. You’ve taken the time to build rapport with your team, so they trust your judgment and are open to trying something new.

You’ve also been consistent in your communication, providing updates and answering questions along the way. As a result, the implementation goes smoothly, and everyone is happy with the new system.

By focusing on building rapport, you’ve set yourself up for success.

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