Situational Changes

Many people already have power over the other person just due to situational cues. A manager with their team, a professor in a classroom, and so on.

There are two things to take into account:

  • Neutralizing someone’s advantage when they have one;
  • Gaining your own advantage when you can;

The Persuasion Psychology Behind the Technique

Situational power occurs when a person has power just due to a context or situation. This power is usually not explicit, and just implied. For example:

  • A teacher in a classroom has more power than the students just due to their role as a teacher and having (ostensibly) more knowledge;
  • A manager with their team has persuasive power as they have (ostensibly) more experience and skill than the team members they are leading;
  • And so on;

Although some people are immune to this, most people just give their power away as they believe they are in the presence of someone superior.

In specific, the technique of neutralizing someone’s advantage works due to intent labeling. The more that the person verbalizes that they are treating you like an equal, the more they will subconsciously act in that way.

You leverage this technique by either neutralizing an advantage the other side may have, or by gaining one yourself due to the context.


(4 in Total)


Report needed

When a manager needs a report – or something else – from an employee, that’s the time they pick to press them with more asks

Speaking (wo)man - to - (wo)man

When you tell someone, “May we just speak man-to-man/woman-to-woman for a minute?”, you’re taking away the context and speaking on a human level, as equals

Bonus periods

When an employee is about to receive their bonus, the manager may see this as a time when they have added power, and they may use it to request additional favors they may need

Use Cases For the Four Quadrants

Key Takeaways
(3 Total)

How to Stack This Technique