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On Local Accents, Pacing, and Speech Patterns

Now that I have customers all across the US, I find myself adopting various speech patterns, accents, rhythm, timing, and inflection depending on the locale of the customer.

Today, I spoke with a customer in Fargo, ND. I didn’t really mimic his distinctive accent, but I found myself falling into the rhythm of his speech pattern. Last week I spoke with a customer in Atlanta, Georgia and my southern drawl emerged out from the recesses of my brain. I spoke with customers in New Jersey, one was a local man, the other was a Japanese citizen who spoke English with a short crisp staccato.

To be able to mimic another’s pacing is really an powerful tool, since it puts people at ease. I didn’t realize how often I use this tool until this job.

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