Building Rapport in Iraq
(Note: This transcript has been edited for readability.)
SME 1: "You have to build rapport and trust slowly. It is not something that culturally that, in places like Iraq, you could just walk in, sit down, [and] start asking questions. There is an expectation on their part that you are going to build a relationship and that may be over dinner, it may be over tea, it may be over a cigarette, but you will spend some time getting to know that person [and] getting to know their family, getting to understand where they come from in the big picture sense before you ever ask 'What can I do you for? What do you need?'"
SME 2: "You know I always tell me kids, 'Treat people the way you want to be treated.' And a lot of times the Americans wouldn’t treat the Iraqis that way. But I’ve always made an effort to treat them with respect and not do anything that would be disrespectful. And I think that’s what allowed me to experience some of the successes that we had. [It’s] because you treat them right, you show them that they’re a partner, show them they’re part of the decision-making, and it goes a long way."
In this video, two military service members discuss the process of building rapport.