“Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America: They will be met. On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord. On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.” - President Barak Obama’s Inaugural speech.
Pacing and Leading in NLP
Some speeches really grab your attention and lead your imagination and emotions on a powerful journey. I am talking about the types of speeches that as you hear them, they tug at your heart strings. Sometimes you feel as if the speaker knows you personal and they have the answer to your needs. Why do these speeches stir our emotions? It is because they are pacing and leading our emotions.
Pacing and leading someone is much like the matching technique you learned for building rapport. For example matching someone’s breathing rate is the same thing as pacing their breathing. After matching or pacing someone’s subconscious behaviors for a while you may notice that you can begin to lead them. This is all there is to pacing and leading in NLP.
Some things you might notice as you learn to establish rapport is that once you establish rapport you can change a subconscious behavior and the other person will follow you. For example after you have establish rapport through matching or pacing breathing rate you can begin to slow your rate of breath and the other person will begin breathing slower (Pacing and Leading.) If you were cross matching you may notice that as you speed up your breathing they start to talk faster. If you adopt a new posture they will adopt a similar one.
Here is something fun to try and will teach you far more than you can learn from a book about pacing and leading. Go establish rapport with someone or call someone that you already have a great rapport with and engage them in a stimulating conversation. While the two of you are busy jabbering about whatever excites you reach up and scratch your face. As you continue the conversation count inside your head before the other person feels a need to touch their face. This is pacing and leading. You paced the subconscious behavior and then lead by introducing a change to pattern.
That was one way to pace someone. Another would be to affirm things you know to be true about that persons “model of the world” or their thoughts on what is true and verifiable. For example, I know that right now you are reading this book. It is something I know to be true in your experience of life at this very moment. Right at this moment you are reading these words that is true. “That” is also a pacing statement I am pacing what is happening in your life at this very moment. As you read a pacing statement your subconscious mind recognizes it as being true and it also excepts what follows it as also being true.
As you read this you may begin to wonder how you can use pacing statements and as your eyes jump from word to word, you will begin to understand that you simply pace and lead. Just like president Obama did in his inaugural speech.
On this day, as I stand here today, as you hear my words, as you read this, you can see, and any other statement that verifies something in your listeners experience is a pacing statement and can be powerfully followed by a leading statement. A leading statement gives your subconscious mind a new direction to follow and is generally excepted to be true if attached to a pacing statement.
Here are some more pacing and leading examples:
Pacing and Leading
- As you continue to breath…you can begin to learn the art of persuasion
- As you sit in your chair…you may realize a new way to use this technique
- As you feel your clothes against your skin…you will feel more confident.
- As you listen to my voice…a sense of understand will begin to develop.
- As you feel the need to blink…you may think of new ways practice persuasion.
- As you look at me…you may feel a deep connection.
- You can see these words…as you think of something wonderful.
- You can smell breakfast…as you begin to hunger for more persuasion techniques.
- You can see the sun…as you focus on your inner thoughts.
- You can hear my voice…and feel the power of persuasion.
- You may blink…before you realize how much you have learned.
- You may be sitting…but your mind can begin to wonder, what’s next?
- The time is now…when you realize how much you have learned.
- It is time now…to thank you subconscious mind for all it does for you.
Pacing statements are very powerful in leading a person’s emotional response and any statement that can be verified is a pacing statement. Pacing and leading is one of the fastest ways of eliciting emotion and the reason why it is essential for you to “Go First.” After you have paced someone you can lead them. Lead them with your voice and language as well as with your body language. You can only do this congruently and therefore effectively if you go first. People can always recognize a fake and are “put off” when a fake tries to persuade them. Be real and congruent within yourself and they will follow you wherever you lead. You will be a pro at pacing and leading.
Another way to pace someone is by repeating their “key words or phrases.” These are the words or phrases that person uses repetitively. If you notice that someone says “that’s right” after almost everything you say then pace their language by expanding your vocabulary to contain their repetitive phrase. Then periodically and tactfully reflect their language back to them. “That’s right,” you do understand how to pace and lead people to new and exciting feelings. See pacing and leading is easy, isn’t it?
If you want to give your “leading” statement even more influence then stack your pacing statements. Name three things or more you know to be true then add one you want to be true. As you read this and notice the movement of your eyes, you take a breath and realize that you knew how to be persuasive all along. This is called a “Yes, Set” and is common sales technique. If a salesmen can get you in the habit of saying “yes” then he can get you to say it on cue by adding the question to the end of a “Yes, Set.” This is another powerful example of pacing and leading.
“Mr. Stewart you came in here today looking for a tv, (Yes, I told you my old one gave up the ghost) and you really like the features I have showed you on this Sony,(Yes, that picture in picture was awesome for game day) You already told me it will fit perfect in your living room. (Oh yeah I can picture it above the mantle) and you know you can afford the tiny monthly payment (Yeah 20 bucks a month is nothing). So can I help you load it into your car?” (Yes)
As you read this post on pacing and leading I hope you began to understand the power of pacing statements and how they enable you to lead someone into a more desirable state of mind. I also hope that you are now able to recognize a pacing statement when you hear or see one. Being able to recognize pacing statement will help you recognize when someone is trying to persuade you. Now go out and practice your pacing and leading skills.
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