Mirroring, pacing and leading are techniques taken from Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) which you can use to enhance rapport while encouraging the client towards more positive patterns of behaviour and thought.

  • It is also a powerful technique you can integrate in to your deepening and use it to take a client deeper into trance.

  • Mirroring refers to the copying of various characteristics used by another (words, tonality, behaviours, etc.) as a means of enhancing rapport.

  • Pacing refers to the gaining and maintenance of rapport with another by matching their language, beliefs, values, current experience, etc.

  • Leading refers to changing your own characteristics after having obtained rapport so that another follows and adopts these characteristics.

Being able to lead is indicative of good rapport.


Some uses:

  • To help a nervous client relax you can mirror and pace their tense posture.

Then lead the client by slowly beginning to relax your posture.

If you have built good rapport, then your client will follow you.

  • When you are counting a client down deeper in to trance you can first mirror and pace the clients breathing and then lead them by altering you own breathing and delivery of the countdown.

  • When communicating with your client you can use similar language patterns to your client.

Use their words and terminology.

And also use a similar tone of voice.

  • However, if you are too obvious in using MPL then it can backfire in a bad way and you will lose all rapport with the client.

This is seen quite frequently when students of NLP are practising and they are so obvious and mechanical in their approach. Poorly trained and inexperienced salespeople are also a giveaway when trying to use MPL with customers.

  • Ideally, you want to use MPL intuitively, without even having to think about doing it; this takes practice.

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