There are two kinds of communication: communication with yourself and communication with others. When you master communication with yourself, you are able to feel the way you want and experience your life the way you want to. You may be able to take a negative experience but that alone is not going to get you a great relationship, cool car or a nice house. To be really fulfilled and happy, you need to master communication in the external world as well.
Think about all your dreams and goals. How much of them rely on other people? If you want a car, for example, you are probably going to have to work with other people to get the finances to buy it. If you want to get married, you definitely need to be able to communicate with your partner and family, if you want a great job you will have to communicate with your employer, workmates and employees. Basically anything you ever want externally will in some way rely on other people. To master your life, you need to master communication.
Now that you understand why we communicate with others (to get something), it’s important to look at the psychology/recipe as to why someone would want to give you something or help you.
People like people who are the same as them. Think about it – If you’re going down a hill on a snowboard and you see someone else on a snowboard, you feel a connection with them. If you are walking down the street and you see someone dressed similarly to you, you would feel much more of a connection with them than you would with a businessman in a suit, for example.
In order to be an effective communicator – you need to be able to build rapport (a sense of agreement and comfort). Rapport is about having someone like you. As I said, people like people who are similar to them. You’re hardly going to go strap on a snowboard or change your clothing from person to person to get them to like you. However, you can build rapport through matching and mirroring is to communicate in a similar way to the other person – if someone is a quiet, slow speaker and you are loud and fast they would probably think that you are obnoxious and overbearing. If someone is loud and fast and you speak softly and slowly they may see you as boring and uninteresting. The trick is to match their style; if they talk fast then you talk fast, if they talk slow then you talk slow (I’m sure you get the idea).
Some of the things you can change to match and mirror are the volume, pitch and speed of the other person’s voice, also their breathing, posture, gestures, body language (i.e. Arms crossed, position and blink rate)
The key thing to remember when matching and mirroring another person is to be discreet. You do not want them to think you are mimicking them – they should not notice anything unusual about your movements at all. If someone is making very obvious movements with their arms, for example, you don’t want to copy them at that exact same time. However when it’s your turn to talk it would be a wise idea to make similar gestures with your arms (remember people like people who are the same as them).