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Power Dynamics: Best Of

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1. Emotional Intelligence

This is what I realized running this website:

Emotional intelligence is the foundation of all social success and all social effectiveness (and that means that, in large part, EI is the foundation of life success, and personal happiness)

Please be warned: we're not talking about "touchy-feely" emotional intelligence here. It's far more than "knowing how you feel", and it's even more than "knowing how to control yourself and your state".

We're talking about having the "feel" for social and power dynamics, including the darker and more Machiavellian aspects of socialization that are usually left out from "emotional intelligence" but that are equally -if not more- important.

It's the connection between emotional intelligence and social skills / strategies that is crucial.
The "feel" for power dynamics gives you real time intel such as:

  • Are they empowering me, or disempowering me
  • Am I losing or gaining status and power
  • Are they being friendly or rude
    • Were they rude because they're clueless, or because of character

That read then supports your decision making and actions:

  • Can I win them over and make friend and allies?
  • Should I attack, defend, or enforce boundaires?
  • Can I be direct, or do I need to be Machiavellian?

That's that link between the "feel" and the strategies that makes emotional intelligence the foundation of everything social, from dating and partner choice, to strong relationships, to friendships, to well as alliances and work relationships that allow you to acquire power and status.

The Price of Lacking the "Feel"

Success without the "feel" is difficult.

Watch out with getting into more advanced stuff like power dynamics, strategies, manipulation, or seduction, before you get the "feel".

Socially and emotionally unaware folks who start with power dynamics can end up acting weird, estranging others (both friends and potential partner), seeing malice where there is none, or seeing friendliness where there was only micro-aggression or covert power moves.
And they can end making poor friends, acquiring poor partners, or making unnecessary enemies (see some examples here).

There's No Product, Unluckily

This sucks, but:

unluckily, neither Lucio nor anyone else here has found any good resource to learn:

So, how can you learn effective emotional intelligence until a good product will hit the market (maybe from this website?).
Read here:

Some people have more difficulties than others in learning the "feel", including people with Autism and Asperger.
Some people are born with lower EQ than others, albeit they can still be intelligence folks (“systematizers”).

The good news is that most people can learn and improve.

2. Social Skills

Power dynamics is advanced social skills.

Then:

And then some basics of social dynamics:

TEST YOURSELF:

  • Was this "weird"? If you think the boss behavior was weird, you're not yet ready to gain full value from this website's more advanced material. If you thought it was normal or expected, you can read basic social & power dynamics
  • Can you interpret this back and forth? Read the social dynamics analyses

Some good social dynamics breakdowns on the forum:

3. Mindsets / Values

VALUES

Values might not be strictly necessary to achieve success and power, and can even be faked.

However, the longer the relationship and the higher quality the partner, the more likely that "faking" will shine through and you will lose personal power (deservingly so).

Also, if you have a conscience, acting mostly in accordance with your values makes you more authentic, with higher self-esteem and confidence.

4. Assertiveness

There is a strong overlap between assertiveness and social power.

Forum:

5. Covert-Power Moves

Much aggression, one-uppings and status are negotiated with covert power moves.

And handling it properly requires some emotional detachment, some good calibration, and some social finessing.

6. Power Dynamics 

A good analysis of power dynamics breakdown:

Spotting and dealing with toxic value-takers:

6.2. Dealing With Value-Takers

For the tactical-level:

  • Throwing someone down the bus: it's good for defending yourself, while also avoiding escalations. Thus, good for value-taking bosses, higher-power folks, or people you don't want (yet) to fight more openly

7. Frame Control 

In Power University:

On the forum:

8. Manipulation

On PU:

TEST YOURSELF:

  • Can you see the manipulation here? If it smells "fishy", you reach the bar for gaining value here. If you can spot the lines of the power moves, you're at good level. If you can go meta and explain exactly what the games were, you're well equipped to succeed socially and at life... And to write an article here 🙂

On the forum:

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

This thread is an experiment to better organize knowledge, as per Matthew's suggestion.

The idea is to post in here all the best forum posts you come across.

It's supposed to be community-driven.

How?

Well, whenever you read a great post that helped you be more effective in life and with others, then write it here.
If different people agree, then I will add the link to this original post.

Keep in mind this thread seeks to be a summary of the very best of the best, so only a few links can be added (if it becomes too long, then it defeats the purpose).

BUT, simply by dropping a link in this thread, even if it won't go on that first post, you provide an important signal on what are quality threads/posts that people can learn from.

And when you see someone else's link here, give it a thumbs up (if you agree) or thumbs down (if you disagree) that it should be added in the "best of".

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

I saw this thread today. Great suggestion and great usability. Thanks to you both! I'm going to use it.

Socially unaware folks who start with power dynamics can end up acting weird, estranging others, or making enemies (see some examples here).
The same can be said for seduction.

So, so, so important. Worth repeating again and again and again. As I already said (repeating), I made this mistake with both leadership and seduction and I had to go back to square 1. Because the people I was trying to lead or seduce were socially more intelligent so my actions were falling flat on their asses. Be smarter than me: focus first on social skills. Be a social master first. Very important.

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

How to Ostracize Someone Smoothly

I do think that we should put this here under social skills or social life.
It could fall under strategies as well.

It falls under the bigger scheme of Throwing Someone Under the Bus.

We all need to get value-takers out of our life from time to time.
It gets challenging when that value-taker is in the mix of your social circle or life.

Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano
Quote from Matthew Whitewood on January 12, 2021, 4:24 am

How to Ostracize Someone Smoothly

I do think that we should put this here under social skills or social life.
It could fall under strategies as well.

It falls under the bigger scheme of Throwing Someone Under the Bus.

We all need to get value-takers out of our life from time to time.
It gets challenging when that value-taker is in the mix of your social circle or life.

Thank you, Matthew, added!

Great wisdom in connecting the two together.

I personally see it the other way around though, such that ostracizing is the bigger game, and that throwing someone under the bus is part of ostracizing.

Ostracizing is the bigger plan (strategy), throwing somene under the bus is the daily, tactical level to deal with the value-taker one-upping (or even good for social faux pas, sometimes).

John Freeman has reacted to this post.
John Freeman
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?
Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on January 12, 2021, 1:10 pm
Quote from Matthew Whitewood on January 12, 2021, 4:24 am

How to Ostracize Someone Smoothly

I personally see it the other way around though, such that ostracizing is the bigger game, and that throwing someone under the bus is part of ostracizing.

Ostracizing is the bigger plan (strategy), throwing somene under the bus is the daily, tactical level to deal with the value-taker one-upping (or even good for social faux pas, sometimes).

I agree. BTW, you wrote « down » the bus instead of « under » in the list

Matthew Whitewood has reacted to this post.
Matthew Whitewood

There are some solid discussions on power dynamics in the office on this forum.
I was putting into context some of the concepts from Power University.
Maybe a small header for workplace manipulation and Machiavellianism.

I thought that this is a solid case study from John on manipulative supervisors.
How to deal with a teacher-supervisor?
Especially the portion on "transactional mentorship" because of lack of caring and concern in the workplace.
That being said, I'm not sure if it's too niche.
Nevertheless, I ran through the thread and could definitely learn & apply those strategies.

What do you all think?
General and good enough to be put here?

The useful threads including the one above:

How to deal with a teacher-supervisor?
What to do when someone appropriates your idea?
The loyalty tests: to be promoted quick, you need to pass these tests

Maybe this is too detailed.
We can put the whole work section over here.
Or even broader, link strategies then work as a sub-header and proven strategies as another sub-header.

 

Hey Matthew,

Yes, I think that a "work" power dynamics section should cover those.

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Updated this thread, putting emotional intelligence, such as the "feel" for social and power dynamics first.

I think it's an important distinction to make with social skills, and it precedes, as well enabling, social skills.

This is based in good part on the great discussions had on this forum here and here.

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Thank you for this guide!

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