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Smarter change

If your audience is sometimes a little resistant, then this is the concept for you.

When you pace them, your audience pays attention much better. They’ll do what you ask. They’ll be happy to follow you.

So what is it?

A pace is something which is true for the client from their model of the world. Anything they would say “yes” to.

It doesn’t have to be true for you. It needs to be about them and their world.

Put yourself in their shoes for a moment and say 3 things that are true for them. Then follow it up with what you want to say (the Lead). The more resistant they are, the more paces you need. The better the relationship between you, the less you need to pace before saying what you want to say.

It doesn’t have to be true for you. It needs to true for them and their world.

Over time you will notice people naturally pace a lot. It’s a normal human way to show people that you are listening to them and that you want to help them.

So now you’ve got them on side, the next step is to lead: i.e. tell them what you want them to know.

The table below gives you some examples of saying no encouragingly using pacing and leading.

Pace +

Pace +

Pace +


You want to increase
sales and keep costs at the same level.
Your business is under a lot of pressure.We both need to make
this project work.
And I think the best
way to do that is
to bring in a
Your boss wants
this done.
You want to make
sure everything’s
tied up properly
before your holiday.
We’ve been
working together
for a
long time.
I’m concerned that
the other projects
will suffer
if we do this
right now.
Let’s put it on hold till April.
You are very busy.You have 1000
priorities right now.
You want to get
this off your plate.
We need to get Jill
from Marketing in
here to make
sure this is done

Once you have the paces AND lead down, there are other linguistic configurations which make your pacing even subtler. Find them here.

And more articles and examples of pacing and leading in business:

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