The 40/60 Rule: Building Better Rapport to Master Any New Skill


Hatched by Glasp

Sep 12, 2023

4 min read


The 40/60 Rule: Building Better Rapport to Master Any New Skill


Learning a new skill can be a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be. By incorporating the 40/60 rule and understanding the importance of building rapport, you can accelerate your progress and become a master in no time. In this article, we will explore how these two concepts intertwine and provide actionable advice on how to apply them effectively.

The 40/60 Rule: Learning by Doing

The 40/60 rule suggests that instead of solely focusing on absorbing information, it is more beneficial to spend two-thirds of your time testing yourself on the skill you are trying to acquire. Our brains are wired to learn by doing, not just by hearing or reading about things. This concept aligns with the idea that action is the key to mastery. For example, if you aspire to become an entrepreneur, it is crucial to pursue a side project concurrently with your learning journey. By applying the knowledge you gain, you reinforce your understanding and improve your skills faster. As Aristotle once said, "What we have to learn to do, we learn by doing."

Building Rapport: The Key to Effective Research Interviews

While the 40/60 rule focuses on active learning, building rapport plays a significant role in conducting successful research interviews. Here are five essential tips to enhance your rapport-building abilities:

  • 1. Be a good host: Treat each research meeting as a dinner party, where you are the host. Create a welcoming and comfortable environment for your interviewees. Make them feel valued and respected throughout the process. By adopting this mindset, you establish a positive connection and foster open communication.
  • 2. Figure out the status: Understanding someone's status and adjusting your own accordingly is crucial in building rapport. Quickly identify the level of expertise or authority your interviewee possesses and adapt your approach accordingly. By mirroring their status, you create a sense of equality and mutual respect, facilitating a more productive conversation.
  • 3. Remember the Seesaw Principle: Status is not fixed; it can be influenced. By raising your own status, you can lower someone else's and vice versa. However, it is essential to use this technique ethically and with sensitivity. The goal is not to undermine or diminish the other person but rather to create a balanced dynamic where both parties feel comfortable and engaged.
  • 4. Focus on the other person: While gathering information is the primary goal of research interviews, it is equally important to prioritize the person you are interviewing. Show genuine interest in their thoughts, opinions, and experiences. By actively listening and valuing their input, you establish a deeper connection and foster trust, leading to more valuable insights.
  • 5. Beware external factors: It is crucial to be aware of external factors that can influence rapport-building. These factors can include the interviewee's mood, the physical environment, or any distractions that may affect the quality of the conversation. By addressing and mitigating these factors, you ensure a conducive atmosphere for open dialogue and effective information gathering.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Start applying your knowledge: Remember the 40/60 rule and actively engage in hands-on practice while learning a new skill. Whether it's starting a side project or taking on real-life challenges, putting theory into action is the key to mastery.
  • 2. Practice active listening: When conducting research interviews or any form of communication, focus on genuinely understanding the other person's perspective. By actively listening and valuing their thoughts, you create a stronger connection and gather more valuable insights.
  • 3. Continuously adapt and improve: Building rapport is an ongoing process. Regularly assess your rapport-building techniques and make adjustments based on feedback and experience. By continuously striving to enhance your skills, you will become more adept at establishing meaningful connections.


By combining the 40/60 rule and the art of building rapport, you can supercharge your learning journey and become a master in any new skill. Remember to prioritize action and hands-on practice while absorbing knowledge and focus on creating genuine connections with those you interact with. By applying these principles and continuously refining your approach, you will unlock new levels of success and expertise in your chosen field.

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