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Encouragement Covert Power Move - New Content

I recalled an incident long ago when I was a teenager.
My English was quite bad then.
I wrote in the essay "I encourage the principal to explore this idea.".
The teacher returned the marked essay with "Rude to the principal" as a remark in red ink.
At that time, I didn't understand why. But now it's clear.
Maybe I subconsciously wanted to rebel against the school.

Another Incident

This happens quite often.
Another incident from a text exchange:

Him: I guess Matthew you need to make it simple though. Use buzzwords but not too many.

Simple but understandable. But I am sure you will be able to do it. Tech terms can be a bit daunting for many.

I gave the wrong reply:

Me: We can focus on the practical applications of tech. That will excite the students.

Fancy pictures & buzzwords.
The rest through voice

I fell into the encouragement frame and lost status.
This allowed the other person to frame himself as a "mentor".

I think sarcasm would work brilliantly in this case:

I was intending to bore them with the latest tech buzzwords.

Smirk and Aggress?

I think I responded to encouragement with a smirk and aggression before:

Him: You can do it!

Me: (smirk and sarcasm) oh just shut up man

Not sure if that's the best because people at the side may think I'm being aggressive.

 

Hey Matthew, is this based on the latest addendum in the covert power move lesson?

The last one is good, but I wouldn't consider the previous two clear-cut examples of "encouragement power moves".

You "encouraging the principal to consider X" is a power move, since you put yourself near the principal level of foresight with that suggestion, but not an "encouragement power move".
An encouragement power move would have been something like "it's challenging and there are great schools out there, but I trust that our principal can manage to make this one of the best schools in the country. You go mr. Principal, fear not, and you can do it".

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

Hey Matthew, is this based on the latest addendum in the covert power move lesson?

Yes, I was studying Power University and noticed that you posted an update.
I decided to take a look and understand the dynamics better.

The last one is good, but I wouldn't consider the previous two clear-cut examples of "encouragement power moves".

I thought that this phrase made this an encouragement power move "But I am sure you will be able to do it. ".
I would consider this more of a condescending or authority-attack power move because he implies that he understands how industry terms come across better than me in my own area of authority.

You "encouraging the principal to consider X" is a power move, since you put yourself near the principal level of foresight with that suggestion, but not an "encouragement power move".

I do see what you mean.
This means that, if I work for a boss and approach him with an idea, I should not encourage him to consider the idea.
Would a better way to re-phrase this be

I have a suggestion on this idea and would like the principal's thoughts on this matter.

These look like encouragement power moves that I found on the forum.
Anonymised the names for privacy:

Person A: Hey, if we mention this, it can only be done once.
Hope this helps

Person B: Great assertiveness (judge power move), way to go! (encouragement power move)

Person A: Hahah cheers - right back at you! (returns judge power move)

Person B: We're making progress, dude! Right on! (encouragement power move)

We can use the methods in Power University like disempowering their frame by indirectly showing their game:

Person A: Hey, if we mention this, it can only be done once.
Hope this helps

Person B: Great assertiveness, way to go!

Person A: Yes, I wasn't planning on being unassertive, but thanks

Or sarcasm:

Person A: Thanks, I was planning to be as unassertive as possible, but now I know better

Lucio Buffalmano and Sam Wellington have reacted to this post.
Lucio BuffalmanoSam Wellington

Yeah, I remember noticing some of them when I first read them.

I didn't consider all of them covert power moves though. Or, at least, not to the point where I'd think "not cool".

The last one on "we're making progress" does not place the writer above the receiver, but together with them. So it's OK in my opinion.

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

So I guess it depends on how the person frames himself to the other and on the context.

Encouragement Through Celebrating - Value-Adding

I think the following encouragement would not be a covert power move:

Person A: I closed a huge sale today.

Person B: Rock on man! (Encouragement but celebrating together & showing happiness rather than self-framing oneself as superior)

Encouragement From Judge Role - Covert Power Move If He's Not Already Your Superior

This encouragement move would be more condescending:

Person A: I closed a huge sale today.

Person B: Keep up the good work! (Dispensing rewards from the judge role to motivate the person; self-frames as superior from judge role)

If Person B is the boss, then the dynamics are expected.
Otherwise, it's a power move.

Encouragement By Framing the Other As In Need of Support - Babying Power Move

Person A: I closed a huge sale today.

Person B: You can do it! (More babying vibe here; it's like the person needs support)

I don't think a lot of bosses use the phrase "You can do it!".
It sounds a bit emasculating.

"Way To Go" Dynamics

Person A: I closed a huge sale today.

Person B: Way to go! (More babying vibe here; it's like the person needs support)

In my opinion, "way to go" mixes the frame of celebrating and judging.
It has a vibe of "yay that's awesome".
At the same time, it also means "keep up the good work" which is judging.

As such, it's not really too much of a covert power move in most circumstances.

I found some good ways to counter encouragement power moves.

  1. Re-framing the encouragement with him getting value
  2. Flipping this around with you as the judge instead.

1) Re-framing the encouragement with him getting value

Him: Keep up the good work!

Me: Glad you found it useful!
(or) Happy to help!

I think "happy to help" can work with a boss too.
Since you frame yourself as willing to help him with his tasks while highlighting how you provided value to him.

2) Flipping this around with you as the judge instead

Him: Go in there and be confident!

Me: I like your positive attitude.
(or) You make a great cheerleader.
(or) Love your enthusiasm.

Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano

Great, great stuff, Matthew.

I might link from PU, and I'm actually surprised we didn't come up with this earlier, so thank you for filling this void.

Edit:
typo

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?
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