Linking Words

Erickson used words called conjunctions, words such as “and” in pacing and leading. He linked the pacing with the leading in a way that made it all seem to belong together, and this gave his leading commands a lot of impact. Consider this example. (The >> symbols set off the embedded commands.) “As you experience this training, and wonder how >>you will apply it successfully, you hear the sound of my voice providing the information so that >>you can enjoy mastery.” The pacing was that you experience this training, and that you wonder how successful you’ll be. 

This last bit about wondering can inspire a transderivational search for anything you are wondering and any ways that this training may make you feel challenged. 

Bringing up any doubts that you have about yourself and then embedding the command that “you will apply it successfully” is a mild anchor collapse as well as trance reinforcer. Nonetheless, the statement that “you are wondering” is also pacing your actual experience. 

Then I said, “You hear the sound of my voice providing the information.” which is still pacing. I finished with “so that you can enjoy mastery.” 

Giving the purpose of the information doesn’t seem like leading, but as you probably noticed, it is really a command to enjoy mastery. 

That is leading disguised as a simple statement about information.As you can tell, we are not only training you on a simple technique, but showing you how you can blend several techniques together. 

With experience, NLP practitioners’ skills become so multilayered that they rely on their subconscious minds to do most of the work. When they listen to transcripts of their own work, they can be surprised to hear how many techniques they are actually using at the same time. I say this because you can trust that this will happen for you as well. Remember that Milton Erickson had some very serious impairments, including pain and dyslexia, as well as delayed development because of polio.