Are there guides to building email rapport? I'm asking because I'm not really good at face-to-face communication.

Maybe guidelines about the frequency in communicating to coworkers? Will that help build rapport?

The goal here is that the moment you get to face-to-face communication, and with a good email report, half the battle is won.

How do I do that?

  • Welcome to the workplace. I am very confused at the problem you are trying to solve here. The answer seems to be as often as you have need to. Is there something that I am missing? Hope we can help clear this up. – IDrinkandIKnowThings Feb 21 '14 at 20:40
  • Where are these co-workers? Are they in the next cube or in another country? There's no one answer to your question. – Roger Feb 21 '14 at 20:43
  • @Bandage I reworded your question a bit, to make clear that it's about how to build rapport via email and not about how often to write them. If that's not what you intended, my apologies and please edit it to fit your intentions better. – CMW Feb 21 '14 at 20:53
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    Hi Bandage, one suggestion I have is to focus on putting more detail in your questions. As a Q&A site, our goal is to be able to take a look at your question and immediately and 100% understand your problem so folks can answer without a lot of back and forth. Adding more details also prevents your question from being too broad and possibly not covering the exact areas where you need the most help. If you edit and expand, please feel free to flag and we'll take a second look. – jmort253 Feb 26 '14 at 2:46

I think there are a lot of false assumptions in your question.

Rapport has nothing to do with frequency of communication, but with content and quality, which in turn has nothing to do with whether it's face-to-face or via mail/chat/carrier pidgeon.

I have a couple of good friends who I've rarely ever met in person and sometimes we don't even chat for weeks on end.

What it takes, specifically, to build rapport with somebody is very individual to that person and your interaction with them. With some you might 'just click', with others it might never become that close - which is not a bad thing at all, mind you.

Not everyone will like you, you're not the jerk whisperer.

Now there are high-level steps you can take to build up rapport.

  • Pay attention to them. Ask questions and listen to/read their answers closely. Find out what they are like, what they like, what problems you might help them with. But don't interrogate them. It's best to find common ground first by watching them.
  • Support them. In small but noticeable ways. Maybe they need help with some tool you know, or somebody to review a report they do. Stuff like that.
  • Show them more of you. That's probably the hardest for people struggling in this area. Being open and vulnerable, though, is giving them the opportunity to build their end of this bridge. Build rapport with you. This may be struggles at work, interests outside work, geeking out about coffe, whatever defines you.

If you want to learn more on building rapport, there are courses and sources out there, that are far more detailed than a post here could hope to be, but this is, from my experience with the topic, what people just struggling to connect can do.

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