The ONE skill that changes all of your consults & patient outcomes for the better.

Words by Craig Hankridge

Apologies for the click-bait title, but if there is one thing I have seen time and again across disciplines, clinicians, states and countries it is the immense value of one skill in healthcare.

Rapport building. 

To stress the importance of this skill let me say it again.

Rapport building. Rapport building. Rapport building. Rapport building. Rapport building. 

Previously, we have touched on the benefits of effective communication, decision making and knowing your limits. Building rapport with a patient opens up a plethora of new possibilities that clinical skills alone cannot deliver. 

Why? Let me break it down

1) Trust  

Rapport = respect + trust

Basically, it means that your client believes what you are saying is accurate, valid to them and is an expert opinion. They respect you as the professional that you are and understand that your time is a valuable commodity that they are investing in. 

With this trust, you no longer have to convince your patient of the best option for them, you no longer have to suggest a follow up appointment time. You are guiding their management and they are on board with the required steps, whatever those may be. 

2) Accountability

By believing what you are saying your patient is far more likely to adhere to the interventions you are implementing for their management. Whether it is dietary changes, exercises or changes in activity loads.

Think of professional rapport like a friendship, your patient doesn't want to let you down. They understand that you want the best for them and that you have given them this plan to improve their health. 

This accountability increases their success because they follow your management, attend their follow up appointments and take action.

3) Raving fans

With trust, respect, accountability (a.k.a rapport) you patient is getting better by the day, crushing their goals, or if they are still experiencing hurdles in their progression they are appreciative of everything you are doing for them to help. It may sound far-fetched but it is exactly what happens, time and again. 

This patient has gone from a stranger to now being a 'raving fan'. There is no trickery here, they are well and truly fans of your work and how you have helped. As a result, they become an extension of your marketing efforts out of appreciation and goodwill.

You will start seeing their family members, friends and teammates. The even crazier part here is that because your patient has given their contact such a good review of you these new patients are already halfway to also becoming raving fans.

Crazy right?!

The rapport you have built with your first patient is transferred to the others within their network, it truly is a rapport tidal wave leading to awesome clinical results. 

Action points

So how do you take your patients from strangers to raving fans with rapport building?

1) Think of it like dating, you aren't proposing on the first date. Building rapport takes time, but it doesn't have to take forever. We can help get you from good to great! 

3) Let our Day One team help you or your team to build and refine their rapport skills ASAP. 


Interested in maximising your skills? We can help! Check out our tailored programs that take practitioners from good to world-class.

Craig Hankridge