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Leverage extension technique: postpone payment

There are some situations in life in which you can "extend" your leverage.

An obvious example is to postpone payment, or to officially defer it until certain conditions are met.

That keeps a powerful leverage on your side, sometimes the only leverage you have, and the corresponding strong incentive on the service provider to make good on promises and/or to make you happy.

I'll give you a real-life example:

Today I checked in into a hotel.
One of the first questions was "how I wanted to pay".
I reply "card", and then added "but is OK if I pay later, it's on the luggage now and it will take me some time to pull it out".

Most places are cool with that.
But still many people rush to pay as soon as they're asked and lose an important leverage that might come in handy -as it was going to be the case-.

Then, I checked into the room.
And I didn't like it because it was in front of the pool and on the ground floor, with the noise, plus the people walking by and being able to peek in.

So I walked back into to the check in counter and asked for other rooms at the second floor.

They had some, but it was a "better room", so they had to talk to the manager if they could do it.
Then they check my reservation and say they had to see if I had to pay the difference. I hold the silence. And then comes the second part of the sentence "or if they could give it to me at the same price".

I say "that would be so cool, thank you so much".

Notice that I'm rewarding them now for the second part of the sentence, the "same price".
This is a form of thread expansion and a micro-cementing through (light) emotional pressure.
It's obviously possible they'll say I need to pay more, but it's more challenging now, since delivering that news would disappoint a customer.

Then I make to walk out.
But as soon as I'm out the door I walk back and add:

Me: Andreina, and tell your manager that if he can do it, he will get a 5-star review as well (smiles)
Andreina: (laughs)
Me: (laughs even more)

Now it's even bigger leverage, holding both a carrot, and an unspoken stick.

I came back later and the news was "tomorrow you can check in the second-floor room".

As Al Capone once said: you go farther with a kind word and a gun, rather than a kind word alone.
It's not a gun in this case, but leverage is leverage.

Would have I been able to move without all those previous steps?
You know the answer already: it's possible.
But it was certainly less likely. And especially less likely without paying the difference.
And life is about chances and odds, not certitudes.

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

Lucio, thank you for sharing this.
I can definitely learn how to use my leverages better.

I have been primarily using my verbal skills to navigate power dynamics and value-taking behaviour.
What I have missed out upon is that I can put pressure on value-takers to change behaviour with my value-adding leverage.
Not just using assertive communication.

At the moment, I'm thinking of bringing up my tangible value as leverage to discourage value-taking behaviour.
Assertive communication does not work so well against more powerful, value-takers.

Sometimes, I have to persuade a person with value-taking behaviour that we can work together better with more respectful communication.
This means, if you talk to me better, I can bring more value to the table for both of us.

He is value-adding because of his domain and industry knowledge.
The issue is that he uses smart-alec dominance and social climbing.
Being smart is value-adding.
Sounding smart and condescending is value-taking.

A Hypothetical Situation to Use Leverage

A situation that I anticipate to come out in the future:

Me: (Proposes a new way forward for the website)

Him: We should not change the website for this situation. (rapport breaking instead of proposing a new alternative)

MeYeah, it depends on our priorities. (re-framing to a matter of business priorities)
I may change the website if we think it's beneficial in the long run. (showcase my leverage & value and implies that we will decide collaboratively on the decision rather than him being the authority)

(If I want to leverage my experience even more)
(And it also brings actual tangible value to the table about the way forward)
We can also do A/B testing to determine whether the new change would be favourable.
Have you done A/B testing on users before? (I can let him hang himself if he tries to fake his knowledge)

The more assertive routes didn't seem to work so well.
Which means that I address my discomfort in the way he communicates.
So showcasing more of my leverage has helped me gain more authority.

Using Leverage to Handle Lateness - (When Your Time Is Actually More Valuable Than The Late Person)

Yesterday's meeting, he messaged 5 minutes before the meeting started that he wanted to push the meeting back by 10 minutes.
Bear in mind that there's another person involved in this conversation.

Him: I'm super tired from moving stuff in my house.
Let's meet at this time instead.
(Gives his time in his own time zone and doesn't specify his time zone)

Me: I have planned my schedule for today.
Could you clarify what time zone is that?

Him: (Gets onto the call, doesn't apologise, threads expands on his own busyness)

Me: (I thought maybe indeed he is having a challenging day) Let's keep the meeting short today to 45 minutes.
I have pasted the link to the agenda in the chat.

Him: Well, I was thinking about 1.5 hours for this meeting. (social climbing, I extended a warm gesture, he framed me as the one who wants the meeting to be short)

This is what I plan to do in the future.
I leverage my preparation of the meeting beforehand (the agenda) and use this as a way to put pressure on being timely.
I learnt this technique from Lucio's covert power moves article.

Him: I'm super tired from moving stuff in my house.
Let's meet at this time instead.
(Gives his time in his own time zone and doesn't specify his time zone)

Me: We will start the meeting without you first.
I have prepared an agenda, and you will probably miss the first segment.
You can catch up on the minutes with this agenda.

Referencing the other thread, asynchronous communication brings a lot of joy indeed!
No more value-takers taking advantage of your time.
The joy of freedom and being able to manage your own time.

Tying All of the Above Together

The leverage (the value-adding behaviour) should stand by itself in terms of adding value to the business.
However, I can extend my leverage to discourage value-taking behaviour.
As such, extending my leverage is value-adding for myself and the team in this case.

Quote About Using Leverages (On this website? Maybe Another)

As Al Capone once said: you go farther with a kind word and a gun, rather than a kind word alone.
It's not a gun in this case, but leverage is leverage.

I remember a quote and am not sure if it's from this website:
"People only appreciate your kindness when you have a gun under the table."

Stef has reacted to this post.

It's s the same as "smile warmly and carry a big stick" , the big stick USA policy