Have you ever met a new acquaintance and almost instantly felt the relationship click? Or have you ever met with someone and the chemistry between you was like oil and water? When Richard Bandler and John Grinder studied “the world’s top therapists” to find out why they were referred to as “The Magicians,” they found what these renowned healers had in common. It had less to do with what school of psychotherapy they subscribed to and more to do with how effectively these psychiatrists built rapport with their clients.

The key to the success of “The Magicians” is also a key to the success of many of business’ top leaders and sales professionals — focus. It has been shown that when people effectively focus on the other individual, especially at the outset of communications, a deeper level of rapport, credibility and trust is felt by the person on the receiving end of that more intent focus.

Here is a five-step formula for you to develop a deeper rapport with every person you meet.

Feel the feelings of the other person. With almost 95 percent accuracy, you can look at people in most states of mind and predict or at least confirm, with discussion deeper than typical questioning about how they are feeling, their energy level and whether or not they have their full interest and attention invested in your conversation. When someone doesn’t seem to be connecting with you, it is better to call it out and probe as to why or what might be the matter. For example, when someone seems tired, ask, “On a scale of 1 to 10, what is your energy level right now?” or if they seem disinterested, it might be better to just ask, “I’m sensing that you’re really not that interested in discussing this right now; is this a bad time?” You will get more respect from those who see that you are aware of their true state of mind, and care enough and are confident enough to broach the real concern.

Observe the physiology of the other person and adapt to their style. When someone is more closely matching the stance or posture of someone with whom they are communicating, they are more likely to have rapport and trust than when someone is in a completely different posture. An example is when one is leaned back and more relaxed and the other is leaning forward and more erect.

Connect to the voice pattern, pace and volume. The speed and volume of one’s speech is the pattern in which they are most comfortable communicating. When a slow talker is confronted with someone who is speaking much faster and more loudly than them or vice versa, a disconnection in rapport is likely to happen. Pay attention to the style of one’s voice in the initial stages of a conversation, and let yourself naturally adapt as closely as you comfortably can, and you’re more likely to be heard and liked.

Understand their unique words and perceptions by both questioning for meaning as well as using some of the same pet words and phrases that most any person will show preference toward. They will know you have heard them and will feel more closely understood.

Synchronizing your style to theirs is the bottom line of what is happening when you more closely pay attention to your communication partner. The fact is the more closely you listen and totally focus on another person, the more you will naturally do all of the above. Remind yourself before your next big meeting to not worry as much about your agenda as putting your focus on the other person.