The Verbal Language
Pacing verbal communication strongly influences
the depth of rapport you establish with another
Pacing volume is also a useful tactic. Someone
who speaks softly will appreciate someone else
who speaks softly. Likewise someone who speaks
loudly will often have more respect for you and
will recognise a kindred spirit if you match their
volume. As a matter of fact , on occasion you
might even want to exceed the others’ volume
to get them to speak more softly.
By giving somebody a reflection of themselves
and even exaggerating that reflection somewhat
you can often cause them to modify their behaviour.
Some people find that they can control others
by going out of control, they exploit the predictable
behaviour of those around them. The plan to go
out of control in such a way that other people
will acquiesce and placate Children may learn
to scream and throw temper tantrums in order to
control other people. If you pace that behaviour
by also throwing a tantrum (not at the child,
but with the child) a miraculous and amusing calm
can set in. The child’s astonishment can
then give way to humour and the act is broken.
The message to remember is –If you want
to change someone else’s behaviour, the
best approach is to change your own. The resulting
change in the system will often prompt the other
person to change themselves in order to re-establish
the balance and the illusion of control.
Dig Speech and Unburry Rapport Treasures
Words, phrases and images people use give us
important information about the inner worlds they
inhabit. By pacing this aspect of their speech,
you are telling them that you understand them
and they can trust you. When you’re talking
with other people, it’s a good idea to incorporate
as many of their words, phrases, and their images
into your conversation as comfortably as you can.
Don't mimic other people's accent or speak a jargon
you don’t have mastery of. You should be
sensitive of their level of vocabulary and imagery
and try to reflect it as closely as you comfortably
can. Avoid in your own speech any jargon that
the other person doesn’t understand.
Putting someone in the position of either appearing
stupid or feeling stupid will only make them resent
you. –pendantry blocks rapport. An individual
may reject your idea not because it’s weak
but because they may not understand it the way
you’ve presented it. Having requisite variety
means being able to avoid those styles that inadvertently
turn other people away.
Having the flexibility to use words, phrases and
images familiar to other people is important.
If we listen carefully to the language other people
use, we will know what words, phrases, and images
they feel at home with.
In the world of business, it helps to learn a
few words of a foreign associates language. It
would be seen as a goodwill gesture. Also, body
language can help to bridge the gap. However,
be careful of gestures as they could bear different
meaning in other cultures.
Speak more like others and you’ll see that
they’ll respond more positively towards
you. They’ll appreciate you more, you’ll
dramatically increase your effectiveness in getting
their co-operation and support.
Pacing Beliefs And Opinions
Keep in mind that the goal of pacing is to be
able to lead the other person in the direction
you want him to go.
Here come a fine technique from the repertory
of the art of persuasion: Validate something other
people know to be true, and then lead them to
consider and finally to accept other possibilities.
However well intentioned and correct our efforts
to enlighten others might be, they are doomed
to be jeopardised from start if we begin by informing
the erratic that they are in error. The most likely
result of such a course is defensiveness. To an
extent our reality is made up of our beliefs,
therefore, to tamper with people’s beliefs
is to tamper with their reality. Tread lightly.
Pace the belief and then lead with your suggestion.
You should not compromise your integrity or pretend
to believe in something you do not. Find some
way of validating another part of their belief
or some experience of theirs.
As Thomas Jefferson once said, “In matters
of principle, stand firm like a rock; in matters
of opinion flow like a river.”
Find a point of agreement on which to build your
case, then if necessary move into areas of disagreement
Remember ;It’s much easier and much more
effective to move from agreement to agreement
than from disagreement to agreement.
Nothing is more vital to us than the voluntary
and involuntary inhaling and exhaling of air.
But we seldom think about it.
The synchronisation of breathing is one of the
oldest rapport building techniques on record.
In some variations of tantra yoga, where the objective
is to achieve a spiritual merging, two individuals
hold each other gently and breathe together until
the apparent barriers separating them drop away
and the experience is one of unity, the inspiration
and expiration of a single organism, not two separate
Next Step: Leading
When you have achieved rapport with someone,
the next step you take they are apt/likely to
When you’re with someone you are either
pacing (doing something similar ) or leading (doing
something different). There are no other possibilities.
If your primary objective is to simply get along
with another person then pacing some of their
behaviour is sufficient. But if your objective
is to persuade, to bring them to a new awareness,
then you must lead. Using this model, the strategy
is to pace first then lead. Meet the person where
they already are and then suggest some new options.
This approach works more frequently and more effectively
than any other. Sometimes it’s not appropriate
to lead quickly, sometimes it’s wiser to
back off and not to lead at all. Different situations
will dictate different approaches
As a rule, the “pace then lead” strategy
is a very effective way to persuade.
How To Test For Rapport
Before trying to lead someone it’s a good
idea to find out if you’ve effectively established
rapport. This can be done unobtrusively at the
non verbal level by synchronising with some aspect
of their body language, such as posture. Mirror
the other person for a short time (a few minutes
are sufficient). Then change your posture and
wait to see if they respond. Their response could
be a move to mirror your new posture, or it might
be a shifting, a settling in on their part to
restore balance to the system. What you are looking
for here is a congruent, or complementary, response
by the other person.
When Not To Pace
Whenever you’re doing something that isn’t
working, stop and do something else. That’s
why it’s useful to have enough variety in
your responses for your purposes. It’s a
good idea not to pace something the other person
is not comfortable with, such as stuttering, limping,
or asthmatic breathing. Don’t pace accents.
Avoid tics and nervous mannerisms that might call
attention to what you’re doing. In a matter
of beliefs don’t agree with something that
violates your cherished principles. There’s
usually enough in another persons belief system
to align yourself with for the purpose of establishing
Should you pace resistant behaviour?
Some experts say that you shouldn’t; whilst
others say you should pace and then lead the behaviour
to become more open.
Also, remember that gestures and postures do not
have a universal meaning.
Outcomes of Pacing And Rapport
Pacing creates a harmonious climate for your
ideas and suggestions because what you are doing
is: accepting the other person. You’re saying
(whether literally or figuratively) that you both
speak the same language, you’re on the same
wave length and you are sharing a common experience.
Your acceptance leads to their acceptance of you.
Pacing reduces resistance because -- no matter
what they do -- you can synchronise, go with the
flow and then redirect it. When pacing you’re
telling the other person that you’re alike
and this creates rapport and with it an atmosphere
of trust and credibility.
When pacing someone you also do significant things
to and for yourself. Pacing effectively will take
the attention off yourself. You don’t have
to worry about what to do with your hands or feet,
how to sit, how fast to move, at what rate to
speak, what level of vocabulary to use and so
on. You take the cues from the other person and
get in synch with him. When you act like another
person, you begin to feel many of that person’s
feelings. One advantage of this is that you begin
to know intuitively what to suggest and when to
make the suggestion.
Pacing is one of the secrets of the power of suggestion.
Summary of Rapport Tutorial
Rapport is a relation marked by harmony, conformity,
accord, or affinity. In persuasion, it is important
that you are able to establish a strong bond of
rapport with the person you want to influence.
Pacing may be thought of as holding a mirror up
to people so what they see, hear, or feel is consistent
with their experience of themselves and their
reality. Pacing involves getting into alignment
or agreement with the other person and communicating
the message “I’m like you, you can
trust me, I’m on your side. Pacing, when
used effectively enables you to achieve a profound
level of empathy with other human beings. Pacing
not only has a powerful effect on others, it has
a dramatic effect on you. A major objective of
pacing is to so closely match the other person’s
ongoing experience so that the distinction between
what they’re doing and what you’re
doing becomes blurred (at the unconscious level).
This enables you to successfully lead them into
new areas of experience. When you’re in
rapport with another person, the next step you
take they are likely to follow it.
Suggestions For Practicing Establishing Rapport
1) Many people find that speech rate is the
easiest thing to pace initially. Listen to the
rate of people’s speech and reproduce it
in your conversations with them. After a short
while, you’ll find that you can do this
without even thinking about it. You find that
you are already doing it with people. The aim
is to do it without conscious effort, so that
it becomes an automatic part of your behaviour,
like riding a bike or driving a car.
2) Speaking rates vary considerably. Some people
speak slowly, pausing to find the words or phrases.
Others speak rapidly and seem to have no trouble
at all finding words, the only difficulty they
seem to have is in getting the words out quickly
enough. If your style is to speak more slowly,
you might have difficulty pacing a rapid speaker,
but with practice it can be done. You’ll
find that your thought processes alter as you
change your speech rate. This is one of the most
effective ways you’ll ever find to approach
another person’s mind. After you’ve
become adept at pacing, you’ll begin to
notice that you’ve become much more adept
at anticipating what the other person is about
to say. What happens when this occurs is that
you have so attuned yourself to the other person’s
way of speaking, thinking, and behaving that you
are able to engage in a form of mind reading.
The two of you will become one, so to speak.
3)As with any new skill, pacing is something that
comes easily after you practice it systematically.
It’s a good idea to practice one thing at
a time -- mood, body language, rate of speech,
and so on. After you become proficient at pacing,
you will be able do it without thinking about
it. It will come naturally and easily.
4) Every day, practice pacing some aspect of another
person’s ongoing experience. Take one thing
at a time until it becomes natural and comfortable
5) As you watch television, practice sitting in
the same position as someone you’re watching.
Notice how your feelings and experience off yourself
change as you assume different postures. Talk
shows are good for this exercise, because you
often have an opportunity to pace several different