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.


  • First — You “match your pace” to the person you want to influence in as many ways as possible. You can do this by mimicking the way the person talks, stands, their appearance, etc. You can also mimic less tangible aspects like the way they act, or their emotional state.
  • 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.
  • Copywriting / Sales — Show potential customers you have similarities as them (values, interests, etc.). You can also discuss similarities between potential customers and existing customers. Once you’ve “paced” with them, explain why your product/service is a natural next step.
  • 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….”



  • Subscribe– Your monthly email outlines (1) the key top posts from the month, and (2) actual examples that will help give you ideas. No spam, guaranteed!
  • Share — Share Levers of Persuasion on social media or email it to anyone that might like it as much as you.




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

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Levers Of Persuasion

Levers Of Persuasion

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

More from Medium

Burnout… It’s Everywhere… It’s Everywhere

The Calm Method

The Element of Love

Teach Our Kids Common Sense