Leading Rapport Building Techniques. In our last article, we discussed the matching and mirroring technique, and how it was a great way to make a good first impression.
Leading Rapport Building Techniques
When we use this technique, it utilizes our natural ability to adjust to other people’s vocal and nonverbal signals so we can communicate and harmonize with our subjects easily.
We also touched on the possibility that our subject might be preoccupied with other things going on, and that matching and mirroring won’t work for us at first. What do we do in those instances? The only thing you can do is to continue to encourage your subject to focus on what you’re saying.
Using pacing and leading to improve rapport
Improve your communication skills further by learning the technique of pacing and leading. This is a two-fold technique and it’s considered to be a really advanced method of influencing a subject. It is a technique that requires a lot of time and patience.
The concept of pacing combines the elements of observation, matching and mirroring, acknowledging the subject, and active listening. It’s a very active process.
There are various elements to pacing and leading. They will enable you to be able to pace anyone so that you can, in time, influence them or lead them.
Observation – You must build a sharp sense of observation if you want to become a master communicator and an effective NLP practitioner. It is a skill, so you will need to take your time to master it before you start to notice the vocal and nonverbal signals that people will put forth.
Learn to use your sight and hearing more actively when speaking to someone. Then you will able to pick up on the nuances of how your subject is expressing himself.
Matching & mirroring – Sharp observation is required in order to execute the matching and mirroring technique. It involves observing and discerning the subject’s speaking style and body language. Matching and mirroring your subject will enable you to be in sync with them during the interaction.
Acknowledging the subject – Everybody wants to be acknowledged. You must be patient and understanding of your subject and what he’s trying to communicate with you. Consider your subject at the center of the interaction so that you don’t miss any pertinent details.
When you place your subject in the spotlight, it doesn’t mean that you hand over control of the dialogue to him. It just means that your subject’s input and feedback become the most important part of the exchange and you’re anxious to get it.
Active listening – Active listening is a pretty simple concept, although there are a plethora of seminars on the subject. But what is really comes down to is you need to listen more than you talk.
You’ll often see speakers make the grave mistake of overpowering their subjects so that the other person isn’t able to effectively give their input.
If you happen to make this mistake, be aware that you may not get the feedback you’re looking for that will guide you in the rest of the exchange. Suppress your own desire to speak more than your subject. Let them have the floor and speak as much as they want to, and then build your verbal strategy around your subject’s input.
Why pacing is important?
The technique of pacing not only vastly improves your rapport with your subject in a dialogue, but it also helps your subject feel more secure. When you are pacing someone, you focus less on what the person is saying and more on what the other person is trying to express.
Take for example a husband who comes home drunk on a work night. His wife says, “Come in, I’m not angry” when he arrives home. Are the wife’s words sufficient enough to determine whether or not she’s actually angry?
In order to get the full picture of what’s happening, you need to take into consideration how the wife spoke those words and what she looked like when she was speaking to her husband.
Leading your subject
Once you pace your subject, the next step is to lead your subject.
After you have paced your subject, leading your subject pretty much comes naturally. Assuming you have reached a level of similarity and harmony with your subject, your subject will find that he’s matching and mirroring you.
It is at this point where the subconscious influence begins. In the midst of the dialogue, your subject will subconsciously acknowledge your ability to lead and he will begin to follow and adapt what he sees and hears in the conversation – including arguments and beliefs.
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This is the opportune time to ask your subject to commit to something on your behalf. The technique of pacing and leading is largely useful in the fields of marketing and sales, where people must be able to garner trust and influence customers to purchase products and services in order for the salesperson to be successful.