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Welcome to Power University



Thank you and congratulations on joining Power University!


And first power move of the course:

I deliberately chose “thank you and congratulations” together.

“Thank you” by itself disempowers you.
If the relationship is a mutual give and take, you better avoid “thank you” as a stand-alone.

A “thank you” sub-communicates that you are taking in the relationship.
Such as: “thank you (for giving me money)”.
And the “taker” role is the “down in power” role.

The “giver” instead frames the interaction very differently.
He says:

Giver: Congratulations!


Giver: Well done, I’m happy for you

This is a very powerful approach with an excited customer.
You expand on your power, and the customer feels validated in his joy and choice.

But, ultimately, it’s a slightly manipulative approach (social exchange manipulation, more on it to come).

And while some people won’t catch it, smarter and higher-power folks will see through it.
And they will see you as a small-time cheat.

And… They’d be right.
They’d be right because you neglect the monetary value they’re bringing to you.

So if the exchange is a give and take, use both:

Fair approach: Thank you (for the monetary value and joy that you bring me), and congratulations on your choice (for the quantum leap you’re about to take with PU)

This approach recognizes the value that both parties bring to the table.
And underlines the win-win nature of the exchange (thread-expands).

If it sounds too complex, don’t worry.
This is just a preview :).
We’ll explain everything in dedicated lessons.

Or you can take a quick detour on how to appropriately use “thank you”, in this forum entry.

Now back to us.
This is how your progression to mastery will look like:

The 4 Stages of Development

Some students shared that with Power University they started over-analyzing social interactions.

And that’s great!

It’s your first step towards social power.

Over-analyzing means you start uncovering and breaking down the underlying social and power dynamics.
And to get better and better, you might even want to prolong the over-analysis phase.

This is how the complete progression looks like:

Your goal is to go from box 1 to box 4 over a period of time.

But before one might even think that’s hard work, keep this in mind: any step forward makes you more powerful, more effective, and more successful.

Phase 1 – Blindness: You Have Unactualized Potential

You start at box 1 with all the social and power dynamics you are not yet aware of.

This is the starting point of many people who first land on TPM.
But before you stroke your own ego thinking “that ain’t me”, know blindness and “seeing” aren’t a 0-1 switch. It’s more of a gradient, and different gradients apply to different levels and situations.

Most people have at least some blind spots even in areas where they’re doing well (including the author).

Phase 2 – Analyzing: You “Begin to See”

As you progress through Power University, you start “seeing” social and power dynamics.

You will use this new awareness to analyze your social interactions, including past, present, and plans for future ones.

You have moved to box 2: high in consciousness.
What Maya88 shares is a common, welcomed, and empowering epiphany for many students:

Maya: I have definitely gotten my eyes up for power moves. And I see them everyday, from everyone. I feel empowered only by being able to spot them.

That is empowering indeed.
You’ll be able to recognize who are the good people to keep in your life, and the “not-so-good” ones to keep more at an arm’s length.

And that also makes you already higher in competence.

But before you really start taking off, you will need to take active action.

Warning: Beware the possible bitterness phase
Some people in this phase realize they have been manipulated, disempowered, mocked, taken advantage of, and generally mistreated in the past.
That can make them angry -fair enough- and overly bitter -not good for you-.
It’s also not good for your effectiveness, since you may see malice even when there’s none, and you may over-react.
Often, it’s just a phase, and PU also helps you install far better mindsets and worldviews.

Phase 3 – Becoming: You Re-Engineer Your Behavior & Start to Win

Now that you see the power dynamics, what do you do?

You start taking smart action.
Before you may have acted on emotions or mistaken rules of being “nice” -or being “bad”, neither of the two is optimal anyway-.
Now instead you will leverage Power University’s proven strategies and techniques to pick the best course of action.

This is where the most dedicated students also start using the forum.
They may search for past case studies, open with real-life examples and ask “what should have I done here”, and track their progress in their journals.

There are two major challenges to execution:

Challenge 1: Speed, or coming up with the “right” course of action

Real-life can be fast-paced sometimes.

A one-up during everyday socialization can be a few words, or even a facial expression.
Reacting fast can be a challenge.

Eventually, you’ll get there.
And Power University will help you with this from the very first step with some good stock responses that may not be perfect, but that you can always use because they work well, almost any time.
From there on, we’ll help you develop the thought patterns that make you come up with better and better responses, faster and faster.

Challenge 2: Calibration, growing past “rules”, becoming like water

The more advanced step of this phase is to adapt and grow beyond basic “rules”.

Rules are “sexy” and sell well because they promise simple shortcuts to success.
And it’s not wholly wrong: rules can be helpful to internalize a new concept and attach some “rules of thumb” for good behavior.

However, there are no hard and fast rules that work all the time.
Becoming effective means calibrating, adapting, and understanding how things change with context, goals, and people you’re dealing with.
It means becoming more of a chameleon, more like water as Miyamoto Musashi would put it.

Through examples, exceptions, and exercises, Power University guides you through that process to go from rules, which we call “high-level strategies” here, to mastery -or “knowing when and how to apply them-.

Phase 4 – Being: Naturally High-Power, Winning Is A Consequence of Who You Are

With time:

  1. Your reading and understanding of social dynamics become second nature
  2. Your behavior becomes automatically high-power and strategically appropriate to your goals

Both your social reading skills and your new high-power behavior become “part of who you are”.
That’s when you reach box 4.
Or, if you prefer, that’s when you have become the most effective social animal that you can be.

Don’t be discouraged if box 4 takes some work.
Mastery in any worthwhile achievement always takes some work.

Good News: You Already Know This Process!

The good news is that you’ve already mastered this process.

You’ve been there for everything you’ve learned.

Like when you learned to walk and talk a long time ago.
And you’ve been there again and again if you learned to ride a bike, to swim, to play an instrument, or to do whatever you’re now doing in life.

Learning power dynamics is even easier than, say, learning to ride or swim.
It’s because you’re learning something that you naturally get to observe and practice every single day.

Think of mastery as a work in progress, as your journey of self-empowerment.
And boxes 2 and 3 will become part of the fun.

And see the next topic on how to get to that mastery level ASAP.

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