"Building Better Rapport: Insights from Successful Entrepreneurs"


Hatched by Glasp

Aug 30, 2023

3 min read


"Building Better Rapport: Insights from Successful Entrepreneurs"


Building rapport is essential for conducting successful research interviews and fostering meaningful connections. In this article, we will explore the art of building rapport by combining insights from research interviews and the experiences of successful entrepreneurs. By understanding the common points and unique perspectives, we can learn actionable advice to enhance our rapport-building skills.

1. Be a Good Host:

Just as a host ensures the comfort and enjoyment of their guests at a dinner party, as a researcher, you should strive to create a welcoming and comfortable environment for your interviewees. This can be achieved by starting the conversation with small talk, showing genuine interest in their background, and making them feel valued and heard.

2. Figure out the Status:

In both research interviews and entrepreneurship, it is important to quickly identify the status of the other person and adjust your own behavior accordingly. By understanding their position and perspective, you can adapt your approach to complement theirs. This helps to establish a sense of equality and mutual respect, laying the foundation for better rapport.

3. Remember the Seesaw Principle:

Status is not fixed, and you have the power to influence it. By raising your own status through confidence, expertise, and active listening, you can elevate the status of the interviewee. Conversely, by showing humility, empathy, and curiosity, you can lower your own status to make the other person feel more comfortable and open up more readily.

4. Focus on the Other Person:

While it's important to gather the necessary information during research interviews, it is equally crucial to prioritize the relationship with the interviewee. By giving them your undivided attention, actively listening, and showing empathy, you can create an atmosphere of trust and understanding. This will encourage them to share more openly and honestly, leading to richer insights.

5. Beware of External Factors:

In both research interviews and entrepreneurship, external factors can significantly impact rapport-building. Be aware of any environmental distractions, time constraints, or power dynamics that may hinder effective communication. By addressing these factors and creating a conducive setting, you can ensure a more productive and harmonious interaction.

Connecting with Successful Entrepreneurs:

Now, let's connect these insights with the experiences of successful entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs often start their journey without a clear vision, but as they progress, their perspective expands, and they become more aware of industry trends, customer challenges, and organizational dynamics. Similarly, in research interviews, we may start with a general idea but gain clarity and a deeper understanding through the exchange of information.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Prioritize Relationship Building: Just like successful entrepreneurs focus on building strong relationships with their teams and stakeholders, prioritize building rapport with interviewees. Invest time in understanding their motivations, challenges, and goals, as this will enhance the quality of insights you gather.
  • 2. Adapt and Evolve: Similar to how entrepreneurs experiment with different business ideas to find the most impactful one, be open to adapting your interview approach. Tailor your questions, tone, and demeanor to suit the interviewee's preferences, allowing for a more comfortable and productive conversation.
  • 3. Continual Learning: Successful entrepreneurs embrace a lifelong learning mindset to stay ahead of the curve. Apply this principle to research interviews by seeking feedback, reflecting on your interview techniques, and continuously refining your rapport-building skills. This will ensure ongoing improvement and more fruitful interactions.


Building better rapport for research interviews requires a combination of hosting skills, understanding the dynamics of status, focusing on the interviewee, and being mindful of external factors. By incorporating insights from successful entrepreneurs, we can further enhance our rapport-building abilities. Remember to be a good host, adapt to different situations, and prioritize the relationship with the interviewee. By following these actionable advice, you can create more meaningful connections, gather richer insights, and ultimately conduct more successful research interviews.

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