Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships. Stephen R. Covey

Last month I wrote about how important goal setting is. It’s a nice tangible part of coaching. But when I first meet clients I know that one of the most important things we have to do is build rapport. That’s pretty intangible but establishing it is crucial to building trust between people. It’s not something you can identify very easily but you can test out whether you have it by considering the following elements.


Gauging rapport as a coach:

Focus – am I fully focussed and listening actively and openly without making judgements?

Empathy – am I clearly trying to understand the client’s point of view?

Connection – do we have some shared common ground so we feel connected with each other?

Empowerment – Does my client feel empowered and liberated by this relationship?


Establishing rapport and maintaining it throughout the relationship means better results and a safer


Have a look at Daniel Goleman’s short clip on Rapport:



  1. Charlie Cooper

    Alexis, I’m enjoying this blog, thanks!
    Recently, I’ve been working with a group of educational faculty with a view to encouraging engagement with their clients. Your tool for gauging rapport is going to be helpful, thank you.
    What’s your take on the value of the ‘GROW’ coaching model to encourage engagement (Fine, Whitmore, Alexander, Landsberg)?


  2. Hi Charlie. GROW is a useful starting model to follow with any individual or group that need support in direction setting. It’s especially helpful when working with those who need a structure to move on from describing the reality (as they see it) and focus on the future and how they can change it. Otherwise people can end up stuck and just talking round in circles. But like any of the models or tools, its how you use them that makes all the difference. Curious to know a bit more about how you would use it in ‘engagement’ activities Charlie.


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