Rapport is the capacity to build connections with others, to listen, to be interested in another. Rapport is the first of three pro-active building blocks I recommend to minimize challenging behaviour.

How do you build rapport?

Some strategies for building rapport:

  • Greet participants/students at the door
  • Be interested and listen for what kids like
  • Learn names – this saves the “you in the blue hoody” – to which 5 youth turn to face you issue
  • Look for ways to relate – such as music, animals, sports, actors, etc
  • Let go of liking

* Social-Emotional Learning Challenge: Think of a child in your program who unnerves or irritates you. Someone you struggle to have rapport with. Your task is to have a conversation with him/her about their interests for 2 minutes each session for 10 sessions. No talk about behaviour, no focus on anything but his/her interests. Your job is to listen and be engaged in what they’re saying. See what happens after 10 sessions.