Mirroring - A Communication Tool For Generating Rapport
What is mirroring mean in terms of communication?
Mirroring is a communication technique that is often attributed to the field of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), but like many techniqes from NLP, it was not originated within NLP, but was "borrowed", in this case from, Virginia Satir, noted family therapist.
The purpose of mirroring is in, essence, to improve rapport with another person by imitating the other person's physical positions and mannerisms, and/or imitating the other person's verbal approach and style. In physical mirroring, the person mirroring reflects the body posture and non-verbals of the other person. In verbal mirroring, the person mirroring adopts the tone of voice, word use and communication style of the other person.
For example, if the person you are talking to often uses words that reflect a preference for the visual sense ("I see", you can use similar words, rather than phrases like "I hear".
Whether there is a cause and effect relationship between the use of mirroring and creating rapport in non-therapeutic situations is open to debate, and of course, as is usually the case with NLP techniques or other newer alleged communication tricks, their effectiveness will have much to do with the skill of the user (and poorly skilled users are likely to destroy any rapport through misuse.