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The Home Advantage

The home advantage is simply the effect caused on you and other party when you are meeting on your home terrain. It’s usually known from sports, but applies to many areas.

It can be both explicit or subtle (you can ask a person to book a call on your calendar casually, or you can look them in the eyes and tell them to their face they must “come to you”), and it can be global or local (you can make everyone in a company come to you, or you can ask a specific person to do it).

As this is a very polarizing technique, there are two observations:

  • Sometimes you don’t need to make the other side come to you (they may actually be insulted), but you can not come to them. Suggest a neutral place, a “Switzerland” of sorts;
  • It works best as a process. If you’re a doctor, it’s OK to ask for one client to come to you because all of them must. But if you’re in a situation where you want to make one specific person come to you, but not must, that may harder to digest;

Underlying Psychology/Biases

The home advantage works in two different ways:

  • It subconsciously empowers the person playing “at home”, as they feel more comfortable, dominant and powerful;
  • It subconsciously disempowers the person “visiting”, as they feel out of place, and that they must obey the person that owns the space they’re visiting;

Sub-Techniques

Examples

  • CEO presentations
    • When a CEO presents in a company, they don’t come to anyone. They pick a room, usually a big conference one, and everyone else in the company comes to them;
  • The manager’s office
    • In almost every situation, when a team has a manager, they call the team members to their office when they need to talk. Not many come to the employees;
  • “Switzerland”s
    • In many cases, neutral territory is the best choice. Whether it’s an executive negotiation, a meeting with an employee, a hostile client or others, picking a neutral terrain is a good choice;
  • Stating, “[ABC] come to me
    • There are some coaches and consultants that use this in their wording to try and sound more powerful;
    • Instead of saying, “I help people with back pain do [ABC]”, saying, “People with back pain come to me for [ABC]”;
    • It can be unnecessary or boastful, but it can also work;

Commercial/Known Uses

Key Takeaways

  • The home advantage is all about making them come to you. They will be more persuadable subconsciously;
  • There are multiple forms to do it. Booking on a calendar, coming to an office, using a tool someone recommended, or others;
  • It works best when it’s institutionalized. It’s hard to get one specific person to come to you, as they know others don’t, but it’s easy to get all of them to come, because all of them are treated the same way;
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