The Purpose of the Rapport Step
All of these challenges originate from a personal lack of influence. Building influence begins with rapport. If you lived on the super-rational planet Vulcan, rapport would not be an issue. But on our planet, with our species, rapport is a necessity: connecting with other's people humanity, validating them as an equal, being interested in them and what they care about, finding shared interests and points of view, smiling together at a joke, splitting a dessert.

Rapport is more than being nice and polite, although those qualities certainly can be aspects of rapport-building. Also, depending on how you were raised, your experiences in life and your innate personality traits, it might not be your "natural" response to other people, particularly strangers and people you don't particularly like.
This section is about polishing your rapport-building skills with everyone.