NLP Rapport - Pacing and Leading - NLP Chat Transcript

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Pacing and Leading
IRC Chat Log, February 23, 1998

JonathanHi folks -- welcome to the event! How many people haven't been present here at a previous chat?
Stygian, ZeroHero, Howardme
sigroggyI've been at one
JonathanWell basically we follow a varying format here! I lead a bit, see where people wanna go, and then we go there. Pacing & Leading, unlike my chat on the Meta Model (to be found elsewhere on the chatlog pages) is a bit more open-ended! We can take it wherever we want to go!
StefanBeen at about one and a half previous.
JonathanSo I thought I'd start by asking people what they think its actually for, and when they might want to use it, and when they think they're already using pacing & leading?
StygianI think it's for congruently directing a person's thoughts
JonathanAnyone else? Well, alright, I'll keep going ;)
GrendieI think it's used in developing rapport and directiong people in certing directions..
StefanI believe one important reason for pacing is that it makes further communication smoother. Both of you move along in the same direction and rate at the beginning...
JonathanOh, those are all good ideas... What percentage of the time when you're with other people are you pacing & leading?
GrendieI'd say..most if not all.. it's unconcious...
Jonathan;) Grendie's been through this before ;)
Grendieyou'd think ;)
JonathanYes, I'd say so... I believe we're always communicating, verbally or nonverbally, when we're in the presence of other people. And many of us would like to gain deeper rapport with others, and influence others more effectively, wouldn't we?
GrendieI know I would...
JonathanBut all that assumes that this only operates between people... what about pacing & leading yourself? Internally? Can you pace & lead yourself? With all of these questions out in the open, lets give some definitions to these words...
Stygianpace is to say what's true, leading is to go with that and add something new
JonathanI think PACING, with respect to other people is when you choose one or more elements of that person's experience to match, mirror, respond to, whatever, in the same fashion as that person is experiencing it. By pacing, your basic intent can be to VALIDATE their experience. If you think about it in those terms... you can find many many ways to apply the principles of pacing across all kinds of circumstances!
HowardCan be?
JonathanSo we VALIDATE their experience in many different ways, whether verbally or nonverbally, whether through conceptual means or through sensory specific ways. Can be = IS ;) If you can pace any 1 or more elements of their experience, and if you can do it well, or even better, if you can do it completely... with total accuracy, you're increasingly likely to be in rapport with that person. {Phoenix Morgan rolls in} Hiya Phoenix! We're just getting rolling here with PACING already defined... Now... that you've got a framework for PACING people...
Stygianhi sargy come join our seminar
JonathanYou have an opportunity to influence them in a way that takes their perception in another direction. But before you start leading, if you want to do this with an NLP perspective, i.e., with something in mind... you have to recognize when you're pacing, recognize when you want to start leading, and then, take a BRIEF MOMENT, and JUST STOP, THINK ABOUT WHAT'S GOING ON, and ask yourself what's your outcome?
HowardOK, so as a beginner which do I strive for, mechanical (breathing, posture, etc) or emotional?
JonathanWhat's the POINT of leading, and once you can ask that, and get an answer, then you can lead somewhere. Leading for the sake of leading ain't worth it!
StefanOr, you are in a better position to pace further, find out more about where the're currently at.
JonathanDefinitely. But we don't do that much pacing if it isn't required ;) Not anymore, anyway...
ZeroHeroso when you are pacing you are agreeing, and then when u lead, they agree with that?
JonathanThat may be something suggested by other NLP approaches, but with the Society of NLP we suggest a different approach.. ;) ADMIN interrupt -- some people don't see the chat title in the titlebar.... for those who don't, we're discussing NLP, PACING AND LEADING !!! OK back to topic! Well I'd say it differently, perhaps, Zero...
StygianSo as you're sitting in your chair, looking at your computer, have you ever wondered how you can have certain umm...thoughts...
Jonathanwhen I'm pacing I'm validating their experience which is likely to make them VERY comfortable with me (depends on if I'm pacing something nice)
JonathanAnd if I want to help them into a better state, or influence them in some other way, I may decide to lead somehow. And leading is like moving in a direction away from where they're at... and they may just follow along! Right Stygian, you can lead with artfully vague suggestions that easily pace and lead at the same time. So Leading is useful for countless purposes. Some say the purpose of all communication is influence. I'm not sure I agree with that as a universal, but there is *some* truth to that. Pacing & Leading as a process is something NLP studied for a long long time, and extracted forms of it for just about all kinds of communication between people, and between the "parts" of your unconscious... mind... ;) For all kinds of purposes too. But guess what. Since NLP is more about modelling excellence than it is about innovation in and of itself, Pacing & Leading is NOTHING NEW! People have been pacing and leading since time immemorial, have they not?
StygianWhat did Bandler once say about "Leading... f*** pacing" or something of that sort at a recent seminar you went to? What was that about?
JonathanJust, in most cases, that most people are doing it very inneffectively. We'll get to that Stygian!
JonathanSo the principle behind the mechanism of "pace & lead" is that leading is influencing, which people may or may not react to and may or may not follow along with! Make sense? (y/n)
JonathanSo If you could lead right from the start, and have them follow along, would there be any need for pacing? I suggest not...
SimonHit depends how people are following
JonathanTrue Simon! Well, in practice, we find that it helps to have rapport. OK, as NLP'ers we know how to do that!
StygianCan't you lead from the start if you have good enough rapport?
JonathanSo we go to the Rapport process and we gain rapport. And that can be done VERY fast. So we gain rapport, we do checks & all that and then when we think we have some rapport, should we keep pacing longer? Some trainers might say yes. I'd say, no, start leading. See if they follow. If they follow, then you know you're leading and THEY'RE pacing you.
JonathanIf not, pace a little longer and regain rapport. Make sense everyone? (y/n) This is what's behind what Styg was talking about with respect to Richard's comment about pacing.
JonathanIn the old days of NLP, they used to teach... PACE PACE PACE LEAD... then.... PACE PACE LEAD LEAD ... then ... PACE LEAD LEAD LEAD ... then all leads.
StygianIs that obsolete thinking?
JonathanThe idea being, lets do a heck of a lot of pacing, waste some time, do some tests, then eventually we'll do a little leading. Its not that its obsolete since that process still works!
ZeroHeroso basically only pace when necessary
JonathanIts that its not flexible, and it doesn't take into account the sheer power of congruent personalities, and the likelihood that people will just follow along with outlandishness and slightly (not rudely) outrageous people! Yes, Zero! Only pace when necessary. Actually, sometimes it helps to pace a twinge up front, but not for long, and the moment you KNOW you have rapport, leave the pacing behind.
SimonHit depends on outcomes
JonathanIf you're really powerful with people (for whatever reason), just LEAD, and see if any pacing is necessary at all! So Phoenix -- what are your thoughts on PACING & LEADING?
HowardI'm slightly confused. Is this outlandish, outrageous and powerful personality... charisma?
JonathanYes of course! And a singularity of purpose. Congruity. Most people I've ever met are a jumble of conflicting inner voices, conflicting body language, etc. Conflicting feelings, too, right?
HowardYou betcha.
JonathanWhen people meet with other people who either don't have those... or who have a lot less of the conflicting parts, there is an internal response in incongruent people... that they don't really know how to describe... one which responds to congruent people with a resonance, an automatic response that just says inside their minds.... "oooooooooh this is one really magnetic person" -- or something along those lines! It doesn't have to be auditory -- it could be anything, really. But incongruity can be both internally and externally created, and is NATURALLY drawn to external or internal congruity because of the comfort that can be connected with congruity. Incongruity can be UNcomfortable! So I make sure that when I wish to lead, I eliminate as much incongruity as I can from my intent in those situations. Granted as a member of the human race I'm just as prone to the initiation of incongruent feelings and behavior as anyone else. What my training provides *me* (just my opinion here) is an increased ability to recognize my own incongruity either as its happening or after its already happening, which lets me DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. I'd be interested in hearing other opinions along these same lines from all of you -- regardless of your NLP background!
SimonHMy guess is that your leading has a lot of pacing in it - in that you are watching for reactions
HowardI would love to hear whether others have the same experience
JonathanDefinitely, Simon! Lots of checkpoints built into my leading processes just thru Sensory Acuity! WHen people are learning, however, it can be useful to separate the skills out consciously (at least at first). Start by learning how to pace completely then learn how to do a little leading, and check for responsiveness and responses. When you have the basic processes of pacing and of leading down at a simple level, you can begin to combine them in interesting ways... thats when you start learning PPPP -> PPPL -> PPLL -> PLLL -> LLLL
HowardPacing, leading, then integrating other skills - personal congruency
JonathanDefinitely! You know, I was teaching a training last month (weekend 2 of a prac training actually) when some advanced rapport skills came into discussion. And we were there during a break, and 4 of the students were sitting in front of me, and all were within my field of view. One of them asked, how do you get rapport with a group? I thought... what an opportunity... to just demonstrate! They had all been thru some extensive sensory acuity exercises by then, so...
StefanPace a little aspect of every member, here and there?
JonathanI just picked up one's breathing, one's blink rate, one's posture, and one's facial expression. Within about a minute any variations in getting them all almost vanished, and it was like there was this mutual sensation or feeling of being connected up. It was quite profound.
sabrenIs this the how to be a composit man seminar? :) NLP frankenstein. :)
JonathanThey all started laughing and nodding at the same rate -- it was really weird. And we talked about it afterwards. That was all just pacing, of course... ;)
Stefanbut that takes some practice to pace like that really well, right?
JonathanSome practice, sure! But you ALREADY do it with people you have natural rapport with, don't you?
ZeroHeroCan one pace to heart beat?
JonathanZero, how surprised would you be to find that you could?
MetaManIf you enter the appropriate "state" you can pace any behavior of another
JonathanHow surprised would you be to find that you can actually consciously see the heartbeat, in most people, at the base of the neck!
ZeroHeronot very =)
StefanYes, but not very conciously. Doing that as well would be neat.
JonathanAnd once you learn how to create the bio-feedback loop in your own body, in just the right states, as Phoenix (Meta-Man) mentioned... then it all happens quite easily.
MetaManKnowing how and when to shift your state is very important to pacing and leading as is the root belief of BEHAVIORAL FLEXIBILTY
JonathanOOoooh great point -- see his point folks? Carry that torch a bit further plz!
MetaManhmmm, I'll carrying it to, ask yourself HOW CURIOUS CAN YOU BE and then Double that. Good point to start to entering OTC rapport with another! Yoga and breathing excerices and toning are good tools to being using often to increase flexibilty
JonathanYes, really good tools, along with tai chi! Whenever I walk up to someone, I want to already be asking myself 2 things.... Where are they now? AND, where do I want to go, because with those two questions answered, and ONLY after they've been answered... can I actually begin to create a plan for bridging the present into the desired future state.
MetaManyes, anything that uses as many aspects and then some of yourself should be done often and expanded upon. If you are used to be flexible and fluid then it is easier to do it when you need it. stretch yourself 3x more than life and life is a breeze

JonathanWe've covered definitions, and the purpose of each, and the structure of how they used to be taught vs how they're taught now... and we've discussed a couple of examples as to how to begin to use one or the other more flexibly... And at a high-level, there's little to say about it other than (thanks to Phoenix for the choice of words here) observe act & observe more! But when you're learning this at a conscious process level, there's always a lot more to it! So lets stop, take stock of what we've discussed, and entertain some questions for a while. Then we can go over a couple of more examples and close down the event! JOIN IN! Ask questions now! (those of you there, awake ;) and just unsure of what to ask -- say Y)
Howard, ZeroHeroYes.
SimonHSo how do you handle the situation where the leader gets impatient
JonathanCan you provide a little more context, Simon?
SimonHOK; Let's suppose a business leader wants to move his company in a certain direction and no-one goes along with it
Jonathanahh, sounds like he didn't get buy-in to his plans; sounds like he didn't pace anyone very effectively
SimonHSure and there comes a point when leading is the only game in town
Jonathanbecause although you don't need to pace to lead effectively, if you notice at any time that you're not able to lead, instead of trying to lead more from the same basic position, I'd want to go back and pace some more.
HowardHow can you lead if no one is following !?!
JonathanWhen LEADING is the only game in town, that tells me that that is the PERFECT time to do a lot of pacing -- since its then, at that point, the one thing no one else is doing! Agreed, Howard! So you lead, check, if you have them pacing you, you can keep leading, and if not then you drop back a little and pace for longer!
SimonHwhich says to me that the well-formed outcome for the leader is to allow time for that to happen
JonathanDoes all that make sense or are the other better views on this (I never assume I have the better answer than whats out there!) ? One well-formed outcome, Simon, certainly!
HowardMakes sense, often leaders fall out of step because they fall out of touch. And, you can't pace when you're not in touch.
HowardThen, consciously pacing means consciously getting back in touch.
JonathanWell, shall we continue with a few other examples? Or close things down?
HowardOne other comment please.... As a beginner, pacing is learning excercise in sensory acuity. Or, so I find.
Jonathanyes absolutely
MetaManGive that man an NLP cookie!
JonathanIncreased sensory acuity is one of the results those kinds of exercises produce!
MetaManRichard would be proud of your granma
HowardWhich is why pacing is a 'fundamental' nlp skill.
JonathanOK, no question. PACING is very useful! I teach it at my trainings!
MetaManSensory acuity is even more a primary skill of that skill
JonathanAND! or BUT! (whichever you choose) -- More important than pacing, or leading, or any conscious understanding of the things I teach, in my opinion, is behavioral flexibility!
StefanAnd once you have rapport, you can also try out more NLP Techniques to the poor unsuspecting people.
sigroggyDo you utilize time distortion to increase your sensory acuity so you can pace more effectively? I figure if I could speed myself up enought i would have more than enough free cycles to spend on pacing...
JonathanGoodness what a question sigroggy! hehheh You wouldn't need to after doing a lot of those exercises within a longer training, sig!
StefanAre Stever and Anthony Robbins related?
JonathanI believe they're unrelated, Stefan. ;) They don't look at all alike! His site is the NLP & DHE™ General Information Server. Major site. Alright folks -- thanks for joining us tonight for Pacing & Leading... I'm getting tired myself, the subject at a chat level doesn't lend itself to more than this kind of discussion, and I hope you found it enlightening.
HowardThanks, Jonathan, for hosting!
JonathanAs you move forward with the above information, think about how do you check for rapport with your own leads... i.e., how do they follow and how can you tell? At some level, you're going to start noticing this around you all the time! Goodnight, everyone!


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