Building Rapport with Pacing and Leading


The concept of pacing and leading can be used to serve a number of different scenarios. Whether it be simply complimenting someone or leading the person to taking healthy action, this simple and powerful technique should be used regularly to build rapport with your clients.

Firstly, let’s look at what does not work:

AVIOD using the following sentence structure:

I understand … but …

Firstly, how can anyone truly understand someone else – they may be making an assumption. Secondly, the use of the word “but” violates everything that precedes.


If someone said the following to you what would you think?

“I understand how you feel but I think you should just do it anyway.”
You might think that it is impossible for them to understand how you feel, as they are not you – and you are probably right. Secondly, they also used the “but” word, which is usually not received very positively by most people.

INSTEAD use the following sentence structure:

I acknowledge/appreciate/respect … and …

It is a lot harder for someone to automatically reason that you do not appreciate or respect them. Also, remember that people like to be acknowledged, so acknowledge them by saying the words. The use of the word “and” here, does not violate what has just been said and positive language has been used. It flows better towards where you want to take them in the conversation.


1.  I acknowledge all the great work you have done today and I can see the positive results.

2.  I appreciate your point of view and I believe it would be beneficial for us to consider some other possibilities. Is that OK with you?

3.  I respect your current situation and I look forward to inviting you along to the next event.

 Article Author: Mark Coburn


DISC Behavioural Types in Meetings


When we consider the DISC behavioural types in the context of meetings, what happens? What’s the attitude of each type and what are they expecting from the meeting?

Here are a few possibilities to consider:

  • The D type may be thinking that the meeting is a chance to delegate tasks and get commitment from others. They will like to be leading the meeting and setting the tone for what needs to happen from a goal-orientated point of view.
  • The I type may see the meetings as an opportunity to interact with others to fill their social need.
  • The S type will most probably be thinking that the meeting is an opportunity to get some direction and find out more about what they need to do to help the business. They’ll tend to be the ones “following the leader”.
  • The C type is most likely to see the meeting as a way to ensure everything is under control and that the business or project is on track. During the meeting they may also question things if they need more information.

The question is, what can you do with this information? Can you use it to increase your awareness of your work peers?

Article Author: Mark Coburn

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