What is synchrony?

Synchrony is a wonderful word that has a melodic tone to it, it even sounds rich on the tongue when you say it.  Yet, it’s a word (and a concept) that most of us are unfamiliar with. In simple terms synchrony is just another word for ‘coordination’, but as with everything to do with business and mentoring, it has a much richer meaning too.

According to Daniel Goleman in his book Social Intelligence, synchrony is the third ingredient needed to create rapport. It is most evident when people are ‘in synch’ that is they are mirroring each others gestures, facial expressions and animation.  To be at this level of rapport, you need to feel completely comfortable with the person you are engaging with.

But how does this translate to the web and business?  Well it’s a similar process really; a business that is ‘in synch’ with it’s customers needs and expectations will naturally provide a better level of service, they are businesses that anticipate a need before it may even be expressed.   They naturally understand or are aware of the underlying concerns a customer may have and seek a way to alleviate those fears through understanding rather than ‘sales talk’.

Being in synch demands an intuitive understanding of both parties underlying bias and social tendencies.  If we are different culturally it may be harder to do, especially when it’s not face to face.  Therefore a major question has to be how can we engage in synchrony in these circumstances?

Ultimately it will come down to some basic rapport building techniques:

  • asking questions
  • admitting lack of knowledge
  • clarifying what is being said
  • caring about the outcome of the interaction
  • taking time to research what is and isn’t good etiquette – for instance are first names allowed
  • making the time to understand the needs and expectations before you start on anything

By all means be passionate about your product and service but don’t do it at the expense of taking the time to find what your clients needs actually are.  In a mentoring environment, the needs may not always be as first stated because your client will need time to begin to trust you before they share too much personal (or business) information with you.

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