Please or Register to create posts and topics.

Definitive dictionary of power

Hey Ali,

At the moment I'm not seeing a clear-cut case for a new definition.

This might be in part because of what you consider "frame flipping" and what I consider "frame flipping".

I don't consider "frame flipping" to necessarily mean "turning a weakness into a strength".
Frame flipping goes from one opposite to another, but that's not necessarily weakness -> strength.

It might be weakness -> strength; wrong -> right; good  -> bad, or whatever else.

So I'd personally consider that Coca-Cola example a case of frame flipping.

Ali Scarlett and Matthew Whitewood have reacted to this post.
Ali ScarlettMatthew Whitewood
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

New definition:

Covert requests: to start conversations or to approach people under a ruse, and only later on to indirectly seek or request help.
They can be a form of power scalping and social scalping, since they protect the asker's power, and reduce the asker's debt by avoiding direct requests.

Explanation: if I come to you and say "I need your help", that empowers you and disempowers me, since the "helper" is usually higher power than the help receiver.
From a social exchange point of view, if I ask for help and you start putting in the effort, everything that comes after that is social credit for you, and debt for me.
But if I can get that help "indirectly", without requesting, then, well... You offered it, I never asked for it. My power is intact, and my debt is much smaller.

Example:

Covert requester: "hey man, I was just passing by and thought about "why not stopping by and say hi to that great guy"
You: "oh, thanks man, how are you doing"
Covert requester: "great, great, lemme invite you for a quick beer"

Over the beer, the covert requester starts complaining about his relationships/business/life.
He wanted someone to listen to, and someone to give advice. But he never directly asked for any.

Ali Scarlett has reacted to this post.
Ali Scarlett
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Haha, I was just thinking about this!

It's referred to in the assertiveness lesson as "collecting your social credits", but it felt like it deserved a definition.

I started pondering it because of how a YouTuber I watched often closed out his videos:

C: "I want you to hit the like button, subscribe, and I will see you in the next one."

I remember thinking about a section in PU noting that saying "I don't want to" is assertive. So, it felt like that inverse, "I want you to," was also assertive.

But, I still didn't like it because it felt like it was:

  • Slightly power-taking: it felt like the "assume the close" technique where it had already been decided that we'd like the video and subscribe, so no added effort needed to be put into power-protecting—all we needed was a reminder of what he wants. And, that's not true. (= still, not quite as power-taking as an order in my opinion, hence why I put "slightly" power-taking)
  • Poor social strategy: it's not a very good social strategy to go around telling people you want something and then expect them to give it to you (in this case, expect to see an increase in likes and subscribers) simply because you said you wanted it.
  • Covert requesting: What if you gave them a like and your subscription and, in all fairness, wanted them to give back in return? In a technical sense, they could easily say, "Hey, I didn't ask you to like the video or subscribe. I only said I wanted you to." And, while it might be "fair" for them to say that since they're right that you weren't careful to collect your social credits, it still sets up a (manipulative, in my opinion) win-lose situation, so it's still a form of social scalping.

I was pondering this so much because I was struggling to think of what you had called this "covert request" technique in PU, I didn't realize we hadn't already come up with a definition for it.

*Note: This is unofficial and open to any feedback.

Covert tasking: covert tasking is a technique and way to task others with providing support, without directly asking for it.

This can be a form of power scalping, social scalping, and status-inflating since it protects the tasker’s power, and reduce the tasker’s debt by avoiding direct requests while inflating the tasker's status.

E.g.

 

Rusty: (motions with his glass in order to task Danny with providing a refill, without directly asking for it)

Danny: (avoids carrying out the task—and avoids that power relationship—by spilling the wine onto the floor)

For real-world scenarios, do you guys think this term would add any value?

Lucio Buffalmano and Matthew Whitewood have reacted to this post.
Lucio BuffalmanoMatthew Whitewood

Interesting one, Ali.

I haven't seen the video with audio as I'm in a cafe', but it seems like this was all without speaking, right?

If that's the case, I'm thinking that "silent tasking" or "nonverbal tasking" might be a better definition.

Thoughts?

Ali Scarlett and Matthew Whitewood have reacted to this post.
Ali ScarlettMatthew Whitewood
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

I suppose the above is like a cop putting a finger to his ear to get you to repeat yourself.
Getting someone to follow you with nonverbals.

I think covert tasking could be something disguised.
I cannot think of the best example at the top of my head.

For example, your friend invites you to his house for a drink.
Then he asks you to help him set up his furniture.
And he planned that all along from the start.

Lucio Buffalmano and Ali Scarlett have reacted to this post.
Lucio BuffalmanoAli Scarlett
Quote from Matthew Whitewood on July 10, 2021, 1:15 pm

I think covert tasking could be something disguised.
I cannot think of the best example at the top of my head.

For example, your friend invites you to his house for a drink.
Then he asks you to help him set up his furniture.
And he planned that all along from the start.

Yeah, if there is such a thing, I can't think of many situations.

The dynamics of tasking are highly interrelated with power and dominance.

Which is why "power protecting" works so well with tasking: you avoid the blowback of people feeling "over-powered".

"Covert" tasking right now feels like an oxymoron.
Sure you can get someone  to do something with lies, guilt-tripping, or "covert" means, but then... We're talking about manipulation.

Ali Scarlett has reacted to this post.
Ali Scarlett
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

High-Level New Concept

  • Fair value power: to act, promote, or defend one's power in accordance (calibration) with one's level of power, status, and rank within an organization or social group

This is a crucial concept that power dynamics was missing.

And something I was struggling to communicate properly in a way that students/readers would understand.

Explanation:

Behaviors tend to be well-received and calibrated when they largely match your power and rank in relations to others.

Anything too different, either too dominant or too submissive is uncalibrated.

Acting too much more dominant than your rank annoys your superiors, makes too many enemies, and is often counterproductive.

On the other hand, you want to be extra careful not to be submissive with those who at your same level or below.
If those below you one-up you or disempower you, that's 10x more disempowering.

If you allow lower-power individuals to disempower you, people wonder if you've got the attitude and skills to deserve your current role and/or leadership position.

As an example, see Putin's recent video where he was forced to beat down on his reports simply to confirm that he's the leader:

Minister: (disempowers Putin)
Putin: (goes extra heavy-handed to put him back in his place and show who's boss)

High-Level Strategy:

On average:

You want a tad more high-power behavior than your current status or rank.

That's because your behavior influences reality and future power/status changes, so that little extra tends to maximize your results.

But not too much or you make enemies and come across as overbearing (exceptions always apply of course, this is the general rule).

With same-level colleagues instead, you got more latitude, and feel free to be higher power than them.

The strategy of "mixing power with warmth" always applies in any case.

When No Fixed Status: Go Extra Power

When there is no fixed status and rank, then you've got more latitude to go extra high-power.

Imagine for example a first date or first meeting to discuss a business idea when everything is negotiable.

Of course the general strategy of power+warmth applies.

This explains why "dominant" or high-power isn't always better

I think it's a crucial concept to understand.

Probably to be placed before delving into the lessons of "what's dominant / high-power" and "what's submissive / low-powre".

This helps beginners understand that "submissive isn't always bad" and "dominant isn't always the best strategy".

This higher-level concept explains it, without having to make a note on every single expression of submission or dominance.

Same as: "fair value marketing"

It's the same as "fair-value marketing" for social credit.

If you over-inflate your credit, you're manipulating.

It might be successful, in some cases, but people who spot it will lose much respect.

And if you under-sell yourself, then you're not getting back your fair share.

Ideas on how to put it on a design?

Now I'm thinking about how to explain it with chart / design.

If you guys have any ideas, happy to read.

Ali Scarlett and Matthew Whitewood have reacted to this post.
Ali ScarlettMatthew Whitewood
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

I like the idea and definition, Lucio, and I also think we could use a more intuitive name.

The term "fair-value social marketing" has the verb "marketing" at the end of it. And, that helps with comprehension in terms of understanding the action being taken.

So, maybe we could say, "fair-value power moving" which:

  • Underlines the action being taken: the social movements/behavior of the social strategist
  • Highlights another important concept: not all power moves are bad

Feel free to share your thoughts (that includes anyone else reading this as well).

Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano

Relevant Files

Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano
Processing...