How to Wield Power and Control the Frame

Before we get into how to control the frame, we must first look at three key power bases.

Position Power.  This is the CEO, the billionaire, professional football player, even preacher at the church.  Simply by your position you are granted a certain amount of authority and power.  By having a sought after status, you are able to control the frame.  

Have no fear though if you aren’t one these- there are still two more to go.

Expert Power.  By having expertise in a specific domain you are able to wield significant authority as well.  

Let’s take for example the billionaire we mentioned above.  If his marriage is failing, he automatically will give power to anyone who can fix his marriage (or perhaps a good lawyer to protect the assets 😉).

There are easily a dozen things that you are already an expert in that others would want to know how to do what you do.

Referent Power.  The easiest to wield, hardest to earn and easiest to lose is controlled by your desirability. It is commanded when the power person is so affable the other party chooses and desires to allow them to have the power. 

If people choose to give you power because they like to, not because they have to, you can wield that power in perpetuity.

As you are beginning to see, having an understanding of the power bases allows us to begin to apply them to our benefit.

Webster defines Influence as “the power to change or affect someone or something : the power to cause changes without directly forcing them to happen”.

The next step in applying power and influence is understanding how to use Frame Control. You’ll notice the words are similar to the power bases, and how we apply them is very similar as well.

Type of Frames:

Power Frame: Just like the position power base you discovered above, a person wielding this power base simply assumes the frame of the rightful owner and controller of the frame.  

Investigator: The investigator is like the analyst, looking at the minutia and the details. By analyzing every square inch of a concept you are able to poke holes in the frame.

Intrigue: This frame is the most easy to apply when you get creative.  This frame uses the power of STORY.  We all have items from our past that make us relatable.

This is where you make your life look the Commercial for Dos Equis and become the world’s most interesting person!

Expert: The detail oriented frame dives deep into the nuances of each specific area. When controlling the frame around the details, it’s important for you to become the master.

You might be starting to realize that breaking and resetting the frame to regain the power position is a critical skill that can be learned and applied in a manner that helps you WIN consistently. I just finished recording a podcast about how to apply these concepts immediately in your business.  If you want to listen before it’s released, DM me “power” here.

If You Can’t Control the Frame, You Can't Control Game

Have you ever been told you were good at sales? Eloquent? Quick Witted? Silver tongued?

It’s ok if you aren’t, that doesn’t mean you cant succeed in business, it just means you might still have more to learn about the art and science of dominating any conversation. I don’t mean that you need to be rude, or even aggressive, simply that you need to be methodical with how you. 

Walking into a conversation, argument, negotiation or just outright any engagement without a clear end in mind is a fools errand and best.

Put yourself in the shoes of a major league pitcher as he stands on the mound. Do you think he is “playing it by ear”, or is the entirety of the delivery sequence a well thought out plan designed to dominate and control the batter?

If you don’t already know the secrets to being persuasive, you will soon find out. Becoming aware of the perceptions the other person has an integral first step.

Are they dealing with logic or emotion?  Or is it some combination of both?

There are two key concepts you must understand in order to master this game of control.

The first is the concept of power bases, of which Position, Referent, and Expert power are the most important as seen through my lens.

The second is the concept of frame control, and having a bag of tools to counter every frame.

Frame control starts by simply understanding the other parties view of the world, how they put their map together, and what stories, beliefs and interpretations they are making about the same set of circumstances you are seeing.

It is most simply put that the widest, broadest, most complete view wins. Do you have any techniques of how to control the frame?

Room Full of Real Charmers

I have been known to give quite a few pitches. Either advocating for a future position for myself, attempting to close a large deal, or even advocating on behalf of someone else.

I can think back to a time recently when I was selling our RV (that’s a story for another day) and a potential buyer says to me “You are really quite the salesman”.

As I thought through the tools I was using that were emblazoned in my subconscious I couldn’t help but notice the amount of persuasion and influence I was putting her up to.

There was a time, however, where I walked right into a room full of people who didn’t think the same about me. It was a panel style interview to pitch a product and they gave me the very strict “you have 15 minutes for your presentation, time starts now”.

The problem wasn’t that I didn't know my stuff- in fact I was quite prepared. The problem was that every single thing was stacked against me. They made me fly all the way to Washington, DC to be on their turf. They gave me 15 minutes. 3 against 1. I was sure to lose.

You know what I didn’t do? I didn’t start the pitch! Why?  Because I did not yet have rapport and I did not yet control the frame.

The consequence of starting without control of the frame would have led to certain demise- and I am sure you can think about a situation where you just were not “in control” and the outcome was extremely poor.

Instead, I utilized a specific tool of persuasion and influence to regain the frame by executing a textbook Intrigue frame. I gave a detailed story about the plight of my travel and a few set of circumstances that could have led to a tragic ending.

Then, I stopped the story just short of the punchline, saying that I wanted to be cognizant of the 15 minute time limit. 14 minutes later the Q&A started.

Their first question?  What happened at the end of your story. So instead of droning on about the product and benefits, you can see how controlling the frame dominated the remainder of the presentation, can you not? What’s a technique you use when you feel like you may be losing an audience?


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