There’s a saying that goes like this, “You will get treated in life the way you train people to treat you.” When you speak the language of power, you will get respect and courtesy. You will take control of conversations, and you will be a leader. A person of power is a person who is recognized. He or she is someone who walks tall is not lightly dismissed. He or she is someone who demands fair treatment regardless of the situation. And she or he is a person of value with special skills, knowledge, authority, or some useful quality that is desirable. A person of power is someone people want to know and be associated with.


People without power have submissive personalities. Their natural tendency is to appease, or submit to others. They are uncertain of the value of their opinions, ideas, skills, and knowledge. As a result, they present themselves fearfully, seeking approval or respect through modesty, pleasing others, and always being in a supportive role.

The end result of being submissive, and hoping that others will recognize your value is that no one ever does! They won’t let you lead, direct, instruct, or negotiate. They won’t even let you be an equal partner, unless they’re the submissive types, too, and ultimately such a relationship will prove weakening to both.

Most people do not create events; they react to them. Submissive people are almost totally reactive. They constantly try to please and continually subject their goals of those of others. Therefore they get little of what they want and need for themselves. Submissive people often carry around a great deal of hidden anger.


The opposite of a reactive person is the creator. These people see things as opportunities for creativity and problem solving. They go through life imagining possibilities, setting goals, and causing events to happen. They tend to create the situations to which reactive people respond.

The entrepreneurs, the scientists, the leaders in business, the innovators, are all creative, dominant personalities. To become more of this type of a person may be your goal. In this direction lies the freedom, excitement, creative satisfaction, and financial reward you want in life. This is the way to become the center of a world that is largely your own creation, where you will find yourself surrounded by people you want to know and who will listen to you and respect you. Also, you will reap many other benefits. You’ll discover that conversation is more enjoyable when others pay attention to you, when interruptions are greatly reduced, and when people care about your views and opinions. You will clarify the nature of your relationship with those close to you. Promotions will come your way faster, and you’ll find your work becomes much easier when you learn how to delegate to subordinates. You’ll understand people better, and you’ll soon have more powerful people as your friends and allies.


Power personalities project their opinions with confidence and pursue them with tenacity. If others disagree, their goal is to win them over to their way of thinking. Submissive personalities convey a lack of self- confidence because they are reluctant to possess an opinion that might be wrong. They use words that allow them to test the water with a toe before committing the whole foot. Notice the difference in these examples: A power personality says, “I want more time.” A submissive person says, “Most people would need more time.” A power personality says, “Someone will have to go on overtime.” The power people place themselves directly on the line and accept ownership for their opinions.

There are a number of devices in our language that serve as de- emphasizers. If you are using any of the following five mannerisms, you are showing yourself to be a submissive lightweight.


  1. The word should is a great power word, but really should is not. The really qualifies the statement and weakens it. When you tell someone that they really should do something, you’re also giving them permission not to do it. Really should is not a command but a way of releasing yourself from the obligation to command. Should is most powerful when the force behind it remains mysterious. If you say should to someone who has the presence of mind to say, “Says who?” – then your bluff has been called. The easiest way to enforce a should is to find a category that pushes the other person’s fear button. Examples are fear of mother, fear of God, fear of social opinion, or fear of losing money.
  2. tag question is a statement with a question tagged onto the end. “It’s a nice day, isn’t it?” There are times when the tag question can be useful. Tag questions are sometimes practical conversational tools because they serve to get conversations going to get information about which you’re uncertain (“The party’s from five to nine, isn’t it?”). A power person may use a tag question to elicit information without revealing that he doesn’t know. “The president fired John, didn’t he?” Tag questions can also become heavy threats. “That’s not the way you mean to be talking to me, is it? Or in an emphatic way, “I think this is the last time we’re going to let them get away with that nonsense, isn’t it?”
    But there’s a dark side to tag questions; they can weaken any statement. For instance: “That’s a great movie, isn’t it?” “The President’s turning out to be a good leader, isn’t he?” “I really should quit my job, shouldn’t I?” “This wine is very good, don’t you agree?” These tag questions say, “You are wiser or otherwise better than I am, so I’m putting myself forth so you either to approve or disapprove. If you reject my statements, I’ll take them back and go along with you. Just don’t reject me.”
  3. Qualifiers can also be statement softeners, but while tag questions work by questioning the statement, qualifiers equivocate. Classic qualifiers are somewhat, sort of, well, perhaps, kind of, a little, I wonder, and rather (as in a “a rather nice house”).
    The addition of a qualifier weakens a statement or opinion. If softens the potential conflict with the other person. And it prepares the way for a graceful retreat. Listen to these power statements, followed by qualified statements:
    I don’t want to. {I don’t really want to.}
    I don’t think that’s a good idea. {Well, I don’t think it’s a good idea.} That’s incorrect. {That’s more or less incorrect.}Is that a good idea? {I wonder if that’s a good idea.} I like it. {I kind of like it.}I’m sure. {I’m pretty sure.}
    You’re right. {You’re probably right.}
  4. Another form of statement softener is the disclaimer. The disclaimer asks forgiveness for what you’re about to say. Here are a few different types:
    I don’t want you to get mad, but… This may sound crazy, but…I’m not entirely certain, but… I could be mistaken, but…Disclaimers are a way of hedging. You don’t want to be held responsible for your statement, and therefore you hedge to avoid being diminished in the other’s eyes. So you use a disclaimer when you anticipate that another person is going to take issue with what you’re saying. You tell the other person that you know what you’re about to say won’t sound right, but you want to proceed, anyway and would like to be heard out sympathetically.
    In most cases, disclaimers are ridiculous. You think you are preparing for fair-minded judgement, but in fact you’re signaling the other person that you are feeling very submissive, and you are giving advance notice that you statement can be used against you.
    Power people rarely need special dispensations from listeners. They’re strong enough to look the other person straight in the eyes and say what’s on their minds, relying on authority and charisma to support them and to hold objections at bay.
  5. Pause words and phrases, such as er, um, you know, like, it occurred to me that, and well are all space fillers. At times they serve a valuable purpose. But more often, fillers make you look slow, dull-witted, and confused. So use fillers only when you need to slow things down for a particular effect. For submissive people, fillers become a nervous habit. Have you ever heard anyone who used you know after every sentence? You may have found this amusing, but you probably feel annoyed and concluded that the person was illiterate.


Another aspect of communication that separates power people from submissive people is the language they use. This separation occurs because words have hidden meanings and special connotations that go beyond their definitions. For instance, the words, luxurious, elegant, plush, and extravagant have similar meanings. But do they really? Luxurious has a sensuous quality to it. A movie star may have a luxurious home. Elegant indicates wealth. A proper Bostonian might have an elegant home. Plush might describe the home of a janitor turned million-dollar lottery winner. Extravagant makes you think of

someone who goes overboard. So power people carefully choose their words to create impressions and thus gain ascendancy and lend force to their communications.

When words of high finance are applied to your personal financial situation, you can increase your status, imply greater wealth, and downplay your money problems. Listen to the difference: A submissive person, talking about the actual situation would say, “I’m broke.” A power person, using high-finance words, says, “I’m experiencing negative cash flow.” Would you rather say, “I’m deeply in debt” or “I’m very well leveraged at the moment?” Here’s another example: “Everything I’ve got in the world is in my checking and savings accounts” or, “My assets are handled by my financial advisor.” Both examples represent the same situation, but the choice of the right phrases for the right audience can convey force, authority, and leadership.


Now we’re going to consider ways that you can improve the delivery of these power words. There are a number of benefits you will gain from leaning new ways to use your voice and body. With power words you give off an air of command and assurance. With submissive words you appear timid, as if you’re used to taking orders rather than giving them. It’s impossible, however, to use the power words effectively if you are still using the voice and body position of a submissive person. Your delivery style makes an enormous impact on whether or not your directions are clearly understood. It also helps in getting ideas and projects accepted. In power struggles, your body language and delivery can be used deliberately to add emphasis, to put your opponents off- guard, and to intensify meanings without committing yourself to them.

The nonverbal aspects of using power words can be easy to learn if you think of yourself as an actor playing the role of a very powerful person. This can make it easier for you to let go of submissive thoughts and actions that have been holding you back.

Research studies have shown that people attach certain vocal characteristics to various character qualities. Based on these alone, people make judgments about personalities, morals, social status, and so on. Using this research, we can define power people qualities and submissive vocal qualities quite easily.

The sound of authority is slightly loud but relaxed. Power people project their voice so that people far away from them can still hear, even when what they’re saying is in a whisper. Projection isn’t hard to learn. You simply increase the loudness of your voice without changing the pitch or quality. Normally you speak higher and more harshly when you shout.

Submissive people speak either too soft or too loud. The soft voice is because they’re afraid to be authoritative. The too loud voice is also due to insecurity; it’s an effort to compensate for inferior feelings, probably resulting from years of not being listened to.

Power people keep their voices at an even volume. They save shouting as a reaction to extreme threat or intimidation. Occasionally they will speak so softly that their subordinates have to lean forward and maintain absolute silence to hear every word. This is effective when you have built up to a very important point that you want to make.

Pitch is the level of your voice. Musically we call human voices soprano, alto, tenor, baritone, and bass. Our culture prefers low-pitched voices for both men and women. A low voice conveys assurance and relaxed authority. We tend to believe that high-pitched voices belong to people

who are insecure, immature, or slightly hysterical. Power people also don’t vary the pitch of their voice as much as submissive people. They give the impression that they are always in control and never ruled by emotion. It is possible to change the pitch of your voice. This is mostly accomplished through the use of diaphragmatic breathing – use the entire diaphragm when inhaling and exhaling, not just your neck, shoulders, and upper chest.

Although people speak at different speeds in different parts of the country, power people generally speak slightly slower than the average rate of speed in their area. This gives them an aura of seriousness and deliberation. They also tend to speak at a steady speed. Speed shifts are used to deliver specific messages. Slowing down is for a threat or intimidation. Speeding up is to end a meeting or conversation.

Power people use a rhythm of speech that catches attention, and it makes the content memorable. Their speech is smooth flowing, with deliberate pauses to make key pints. Submissive people’s talk is jerky, uneven, and inconsistent.

The body language of power people indicates their willingness to occupy all the space available, and then some. When sitting or walking, power people stretch out. They walk freely with their shoulders back, their heads up, and their arms swinging. They have a long stride and move briskly. When they are sitting, they are relaxed and use the arms of a chair, or stretch an arm along the back of a sofa, or lean their arms across a desk. As you can guess, submissive people are just the opposite. They seem to apologize for taking up any space at all. They walk with their heads down to avoid eye contact; their shoulders hunched, and have a short stride. When sitting, they keep their arms and legs close to their bodies. Submissive people also avert eye contact, smile frequently and inappropriately, and use many

exaggerated facial expressions. This shows their eagerness to please, their fear of offending and their anxiety about holding someone’s attention. Eye contact is important because it’s a sign of dominance and a link to holding attention.

Our personalities are complex and unique to each of us. We don’t want to clone you into being a specific “power personality.” There isn’t any need to do that. There are certain traits, however, that are effective in helping other people to perceive you as being a leader.

First of all you must decide to be accepted as a dominant, powerful person. You direct the action by thinking up projects and things to do. Present your ideas positively and confidently, and respond to the ideas of others in a way that lets you focus the questions. Issue commands in such a way that people do what you ask, but without resentment. Be precise. Use exact words rather than vague generalities. Be concise. The shorter the statement, the clearer it is, and the stronger you appear. Have a gracious courtesy that never apologies for yourself or seeks approval. Don’t make promises you can’t keep, and never offer amends when apologizing for a mistake. Don’t brag, but do let others know about your accomplishments. You may use nonverbal clues in the form of props or verbal hints that are too tantalizing to ignore. Never put yourself down. This is the worst form of submissiveness. It invites others to take power over you, and advertises shortcomings that may not even be important until you mention them.

Power people don’t speak to everyone in the same way. All of us are involved simultaneously in many different relationships, power people perhaps more so. Let’s take a closer look at these relationships and the kind of power speaking that belongs to each. Complete dominance over everyone is lonely, and the isolation it brings in unnecessary, inappropriate, and destructive. Most of the time – with our friends,

family, lovers and colleagues – we want to have peer relationships, a respectful equality that comes from the recognition by two people of each other’s power. Sometimes we first have to earn their respect. At other times the hand of equality is immediately extended.


There are two kinds of peer relationships. Co-dominance refers to the relationship between two dominant personalities. They recognize themselves as being equal in power, and live and work in cooperation. They talk to each other in non-aggressive language and use courtesy and deference. They listen and respond to what each says, trying to anticipate and meet the other’s needs. The other kind of peer relationship is co-submissive. This develops when two people who lack power and initiative get together to console each another, complain, and support each other in self-pity. In their conversations they complain about the injustices of the world and of all those who mistreat them. Instead of actually helping each other, they take turns in supporting the other’s fantasies. Co-submissives are great friends as long as neither tries to change. If you are a submissive person who decides to become a power person, accept the fact that you will be less close to your co- submissive friends. When you stop talking negatively, you’ll begin to replace your co-submissive friendships with more challenging and rewarding ones.

When exchanging power balances with loved ones, the most important thing to remember is that the power struggle should not endanger the life of the relationship. Avoid power struggles centered on sensitive topics. Change the power balance through straightforward talking, rather than through games. If you want to be recognized as a power person and you haven’t been before, have your friend or lover see you in a new

light. Create situations where you are more assertive and decisive and cease using submissive language.

Love relationships are often power struggles in which the more committed person has the lesser power. As a relationship moves into a long-term commitment, it’s very important for the future of any relationship that both parties allow each other centers of power and areas of personal freedom within the relationship.

Business power is a hierarchy. To get power in business, you have to compete successfully and project a power image. Business leaders only promote those who are adaptable, personally and professionally, to high management positions. This means that if you are going to be accepted, you must sound, look and act right. Which means, be “like them.” To get ahead, be positive in your conversations with peers and superiors, but don’t presume or push. With those who are your subordinates, be assertive and take command of any projects that could be a source of prestige. Don’t force obedience or use cutthroat tactics.

Your overall goal is to be seen as a leader and the best person on your level. Avoid factional conflicts. Acknowledge everyone’s concerns. Deal with challenges firmly. Make sure everyone understand their assignment. Present ideas by leading people to believe that it was their idea.

We hear and respond to power people on an instinctive level. You are not restricted to being completely dominant or completely submissive. Undoubtedly you are dominant in some areas of your life and submissive in others. By using the methods and techniques that we’ve just covered, you now have the ability to establish relationships you want, in which you and the other person mutually acknowledge and respect each other’s rights and powers.


  1. When you want someone to do something, do you ask him or her directly or do you hint around and hope they get the idea? Power people use emphasis in putting themselves directly on the line and asking for exactly what they want.
  2. Do you use a lot of qualifying verbal mannerisms, such as, you know, sort of, and maybe? Power people do not use words that will weaken their opinions or prepare them for defeat.
  3. Have you expanded your vocabulary to the point where you can accurately imply subtextual meaning or connotations to that which you describe? Power people carefully choose their words to create impressions.
  4. Do you say “I’ll pay you out of my next pay check” or “I’ve already allocated resources to take care of you?” Power people use words of high finance to convey force, authority, and leadership.
  5. Do you talk at a faster rate than average, or do you talk in vague generalities? Power people use short, concise sentences. They talk at a slower speed. And they use precise words.

By using these suggestions, you can become a person who is recognized as a person of value. You will be someone people want to know and be associated with. And you will be able to persuade others through your personal power.

Dr. Robert Anthony

Dr. Robert Anthony

The works of Dr Robert Anthony are some of the best kept secrets on the Law of Attraction. Operating without the massive self-promotion and razzmatazz that so often accompanies other ‘Personal Development’ teachers, Dr Anthony has nevertheless provided a guiding direction to some of the most successful people on the planet.

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