Elizabethkuhnke's Blog

Pacing to Lead

Posted on: September 10, 2010

For us to lead, we must first learn the art of listening and pacing.  

In order to build rewarding relationships and communicate successfully with other people you must ‘pace’ them. An analogy to pacing another person is to imagine that you are running alongside a moving train. Say you want to jump onto the train. Chances are you would fall off if you attempted to jump straight on without running along side the train first. You would only jump once you and the train were moving at the same speed. It’s the same with pacing another person.

In order to lead another person – to influence, persuade or convince them – to accept your point of view, you will have to pace them first.

And how do we do this?

By really listening to them, fully acknowledging them, truly understanding their issues and concerns and being patient and non-judgmental.

Remember, there’s little people love more than being listened to and talking about what’s important to them.

Once you have demonstrated active listening you have to reflect and match the other person’s behaviours and way of speaking. Only then can you begin to get the other person to change behaviour by guiding them to your point of view.

Change is best achieved when introduced slowly. People are unwilling to be led to new ways of thinking and behaving until they have first been paced – listened to and acknowledged. The most effective leaders are those who pace other people’s reality first before imposing their own.

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