Have you ever started a new job and thought ‘what if they don’t like me?’ Maybe you’ve been struggling to connect with others or bring your team closer together. If so then you’re not alone! Many of us struggle with worrying about whether others like us or not or how to connect with others in the UX design field.
Building rapport can seem like a daunting task but with our 7 tips, you’ll be a pro in no time!
What is Rapport?
First of all, what is rapport? According to Merriam-Webster, rapport is “a relationship characterized by agreement, mutual understanding, or empathy that makes a communication possible or easy”. Rapport is the backbone of any relationship and the key to a thriving and successful team. It helps people to feel seen and heard, people to understand each other’s needs, and support one another. Although developing rapport takes time the benefits of investing and working on rapport within a team are never-ending.
Additional benefits of developing team rapport as a UX designer include:
Whether you are in a leadership role, or part of a team as a UX designer, you play an important role in building team rapport. Having good rapport within the team creates an overall healthier and positive work environment, and prevents burnout and imposter syndrome. The ability to develop rapport is a great skill to have especially if you are in customer-facing roles or as a leader. As a leader, building team rapport can help everyone to understand the project goals and provide support to all members.
Developing rapport is an ongoing process and takes time to create. Even if you are more of an introvert, there are small steps you can take to create team rapport as a UX designer. Below we listed 7 tips on how to build team rapport as a UX Designer!
1. Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses
Take a step back and identify both your strengths and weaknesses so that you can use them or work on them. For example, maybe you are an introvert and you dislike making small talk. No worries. Start by saying hello or asking how someone’s day went and watch how the conversation unfolds.
2. Use Active Listening and Communication Skills
Being able to be assertive with others is just as important as the ability to listen. Active listening involves closely listening to what someone is saying and indicating that you have heard what they just said. By practicing active listening along with assertively communicating with others you are helping others to feel heard, seen, and respected.
3. Use Positive Body Language
Positive body language includes nodding, making encouraging sounds or gestures, smiling, and making eye contact. These types of gestures indicate to the other person that you are listening and interested in what they have to say. Whereas crossing your arms can convey agitation or defensiveness, and lack of eye contact communicates a lack of interest.
4. Utilize Empathy
Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Empathy allows one to connect with others by understanding what that other person may be going through. For example, if you are giving feedback to a team member and they become defensive. Their defensiveness has nothing to do with you per se but more to do with their own insecurities. Understanding this can allow you to provide feedback in a different way, or look at the situation through a more supportive lens. It is also important to remember that we can’t control how others respond, only our own reactions.
5. Look For Things in Common
Identifying things in common such as interests or hobbies can also help in developing team rapport as a UX designer. Try asking what your team members like to do for fun on the weekends or what was their favorite movie as a kid. Icebreaker activities are a great and fun way to get to know one another and see what you may have in common.
6. Ask Open-Ended Questions
Asking open-ended questions prompts the other person to respond thus creating a more flowing conversation. Close-ended questions (usually a yes or no answer) shorten the conversation and most people don’t elaborate on their answers. Some examples of open-ended questions may be:
Any of these questions would prompt the other person to give and explain their answer. The other person may ask you the same question or a different one trying to get to know you better. Before you know it you have a great conversation going and have created rapport.
7. Displaying Respect Towards Others
Demonstrating respect towards your team members is another sure way of developing and strengthening rapport. It is great to have fun in the work environment but remember to keep it professional. Treating others with respect includes all the tips above and then some! Being kind to others and being non-judgmental towards your team members shows respect. Displaying respect towards your peers creates a positive work environment and people can share openly and honestly with you.
Take the Time to Build Rapport, it will be worth it!
Although it can take time to build team rapport and strengthen connections, the benefits of building rapport within your team as a UX designer are endless. As humans, we are wired for connection and whether or not you are a leader or team member, those connections can impact your work environment, well-being, and future endeavors. Even if you have to take those small steps, take the time to build those connections and rapport. You never know what opportunities may come knocking at your door.
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Meggen is an SEO content writer who loves hiking, drinking coffee, and traveling. She loves her avocados on toast with egg and bacon.