Pacing and Leading

Thanks to pacing and leading, you can influence the behavior of others by first matching your behavior to them, and then leading them.


Pacing and leading is a two-step lever of persuasion.

  • Second — Once you’ve set your pace with someone, lead them to whatever decision or behavior you want them to take!


By paying attention to the behavior of those around you, you can notice ways to “pace” your behavior to theirs.
  • Pitching Clients — When trying to bring in a client, start by matching their language (what words do they use frequently?), posture, email style, etc. Once you’ve consciously matched your behavior on a few items, then discuss how you think it’s in their best interests to do XYZ.
  • Guide Behavior — Guess what another person is thinking or feeling. Once you’ve done so, you can lead their actual behavior. For example, meditation instructors do this in guided meditation. They often start by telling you something like “You’re breathing in and out, and your mind is slowing down.” The first part of that is pacing (obviously you’re breathing); the second is leading.
  • Job Applications — How can you create similarities between you and a potential interviewer? Match their posture, talking style, etc. Once you’ve done so, get them to visualize you working there in order to get them to think past the sale.
  • Negotiation — In addition to pacing by matching your counterpart’s physical posture, way of talking, etc., you can also match their argument. For example, “I understand that X is a reasonable stance to take because Y. In fact, that’s a pretty intelligent approach to it. However, there may be more nuance to it, and one could also see the issue as….”


You want to be someone who maximizes your positive impact on the world, right?


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Levers Of Persuasion

Levers Of Persuasion

Your guide to increasing your influence and impact on the world.