This article is based round a short video I saw today that put me in mind of some teen pranks I used to pull that would instantly lead people in a direction. They work effectively well and are totally outside the standard NLP Model of Rapport.
Pace and Lead, the Traditional Approach
The usual NLP approach to rapport is to match, mirror and pace your “client” and then lead them to new behaviour or wherever it is you want them to go. Whilst I can see that working some of the time, if you want to lead people then surely a simpler approach would be to just lead them?
Here is a video I saw this morning. As you watch the video ask yourself why the shopper follows the guy.
I suspect what has happened is that the shopper has had his thoughts interrupted by something that is completely outside his normal experience. He is not given a direct instruction to run or to follow but given what is said it is a logical course of action.
So the process is to interrupt the current pattern and replace it with a more suggestible one, or at least one that is moving the way that you want.
The Signs of a Misspent Youth
When I saw the video it reminded me of a whole number of these sorts of games I used to play as a teenager. I used to walk into the middle of suddenly stop and point up at the corner of a building. The game was to see how many people you could get to stare at the building or how long you can keep them staring.
Another would be to walk up to someone as if you knew them and see how long you could have the conversation before they asked who you were. If you got good at this the next challenge would be to do the same thing but shake their hand as you walk up but use your left hand.
I have a range of conversation starters that are all about opening a loop that draws the person in. A famous flirting one is, “I have an intuition about you…” and then pause until the person reacts. Try it, I have yet to find anyone resisting talking to you when you open with something like that. I have many of these sorts of openers and my favourite when I was younger was the Particularly Nasty Weather pattern.
In my Persuasion Skills Black Book of Job Hunting Techniques I go through the whole routine of how to stack massive amounts of rapport and take covert control of the interview process as you meet the interviewer for the first time.
All of these ideas are variations of interrupting a pattern and then leading the person to where you want them to go.
Finding Out More
If you search these posts you will find articles on how I’ve used this basic ideas to get free meals, get away from speeding tickets, drop strangers into trances and walk them outside into the pouring rain and a lot more besides.
If you want a complete discussion on practical rapport techniques have a look at the Advanced Persuasion Patterns Course. The course is currently open for people to download the whole course in one go. Find out more here: