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Building Rapport: The Critical Interview Skill That Is Often Overlooked, But Cannot Be Overemphasized

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The foundation of criminal justice work is the ability to connect with people, get them to open up, and share what they know or have experienced.

Whether you’re an animal control officer trying to uncover the challenges a family is facing, a victim advocate trying to help a crime victim, a manager getting to the root of a team’s issue, a patrol officer making a traffic stop, or an investigator interviewing a suspect or witness, getting people to share traumatic and sometimes even incriminating information can be challenging … but not impossible.

While some people seem to have a natural ability to build rapport, make connections and get people to share their innermost thoughts, rapport building is a skill – a skill that anyone can learn. Rapport enhances communication, facilitates collaboration, and fosters positive interactions. When there is rapport, people feel more comfortable sharing their thoughts and concerns, trust those they are speaking with, and feel empathy and respect. Building rapport ultimately helps you achieve your goals.

Join the Justice Clearinghouse for a break down the elements of rapport; how to build rapport with virtually anyone; and how rapport can help you solve cases, build bridges with others, and make a difference in your professional (and personal!) life.

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Date Created: July 31, 2023