0c52759-3In this series of blog posts – ‘NLP for Coaches: How to Build Rapport Quickly and Win New Business’ –  I will be explaining how you can use NLP to build successful relationships with your prospects and encourage them to buy your coaching services. But that’s not all – there’s a further plus for you – the NLP concepts and tools which I will be sharing with you are transferable which means that you can also use them to create value for your existing clients. That’s what I call a win-win!

In this, the third post of the series, we will focus on 55% non – verbal communication and how to build Rapport quickly through the processes of Matching and Mirroring, and Pacing and Leading non-verbal cues. 

How to Match and Mirror your Client


To build Rapport quickly we use the skills of matching and mirroring.

Be Aware

Your clients are giving you information every second you are with them, even from the other side of the room during a meeting. You need to be alert to what is going on; you can gather information by paying attention to what you see and feel (55% non – verbal communication) – that is, your colleague’s posture, gestures, their breathing rate and energy level – and what you hear (45% verbal communication) – that is what they have to say and how they say it.

To build Rapport you then match and/or mirror what you see/feel and hear.



Rapport isn’t just about matching your client’s physiology, it’s about matching what you hear, as well as what you see. It’s about understanding and matching your client’s preferences. 



Matching – Replicating exactly for example some aspect of a person’s physiology or speech.

Mirroring – Replicating the mirror image of an aspect of someone’s physiology.  This results in deep rapport quickly.


Let’s break it down:

How to Match and Mirror 55% Non-Verbal Communication

How to Build Deep Rapport

The two most powerful ways to build rapport with your client is to to breathe at the same rate as them and to match their energy levels.

When you pay attention to your client’s physiology, you will notice the rate of and changes in their breathing. As you catch the rise and fall of their breathing allow yourself to fall into the same rhythm and breathe with them.



Breathing at the same rate with a person is one of the most powerful ways to deepen an encounter with them



You can also pay attention to how quickly or slowly your client or colleague for example performs tasks while seated at their desk and how quickly or slowly they move around the office. People show their energy levels in the way they move.

Before you approach a specific colleague watch them for a while; notice how quickly or slowly they are moving and imagine yourself making similar movements. Slowly ease yourself into your sense of their movement and get a sense of their rhythm and their flow.

As you begin to synchronize with them you will already have established deep rapport without saying a word and you will be in a position to pace them and then lead them to an energy level that suits both of you so that you can communicate more effectively.



If you can match a person’s energy comfortably you will gain instant rapport with them



How to Pace and Lead your Client

Pacing and Leading involves matching your client.

Once you have built rapport through the process of matching (pacing) you can slowly start to change your posture to lead (leading) a client into different body postures.

If your client follows your lead unconsciously you have built good level of rapport.

If your client does not follow your lead go back to matching again, observing more attentively (pacing) before leading again.

When you join a client in their model of the world in this way, you gain their trust; you can pace them, and lead them, and ultimately influence their thinking.


When might you use Matching and Mirroring, and Pacing and Leading

It is useful for you to think ahead and think of how and when you might use these processes while working with your client or while in the workplace.


How to recognise when you are ‘in Rapport’ with your client 

Says Something: assuming that you haven’t met before a colleague or client may say something like, “Have we met before?”

Colour Change: your colleague experiences a colour shift.

Feeling: you get a ‘feeling’ of rapport.

Leading: when you begin Leading your colleague they follow you


How and when to break Rapport 

There are times when it is important to establish and maintain rapport, and times when you need to break it. Both are useful. For example, it may be useful to gently mismatch towards the end of a meeting with a client to let them know their time is drawing to a close.



When a client is in a negative state for example angry it is important to keep your distance and avoid getting too closely into Rapport with them.


Make sure you don’t miss Part 4!


Adding NLP to your skill-set can help you grow a successful and profitable coaching practice

NLP for Coaches can help you if you are:

  • A Coach who already has ‘NLP’ on their to-do list.
  • A Coach who needs to differentiate their practice from other coaches.
  • A Coach who works in HR, L & D, People Development or OD.
  • A Coach who simply wants to be the best Coach they can be!

Next Live Workshop: November 19th and 20th in the Midlands

The next ‘NLP for Coaches: How to Grow A Successful Coaching Practice with NLP’ is taking place on November 19th and 20th 2015 in the Midlands.
Email: pam@nlpforcoaches.com
Call: +44 (0)7741 101077






Pam Rigden

Founder, NLP for Coaches


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