One of the first steps in the active listening process and in any verbal connection you're trying to make with someone including your new boss your new boyfriend/girlfriend or a new friend in general, is to build rapport. It’s the process of getting to know each other. The foundation in getting to what your goal is. The old saying, first impressions last forever to some degree is very true. The first moments of a conversation with someone are the most important. In my opinion the best way to start to build rapport and open up the lines of communication in any situation is to simply ask questions. People love to talk about themselves and the attentive listener is the person they want to talk to.