7 Psychological Laws of Power

7 Psychological Laws of Power

Do you want to win friends and influence people, as suggested in Carnegie’s great book, by speaking properly and defending your reputation? There’s another, less well-known method to boost your power in any situation you find yourself in.

1. Defend Your Reputation

Your reputation is like a messenger sent out into the world by other people. Those who do not know you personally will form conclusions about your character based entirely on your reputation.

Given this, you need to defend your reputation diligently. Research in the business world has revealed the power of a good reputation.

Studies have found that businesses perceived positively by their customers had lower marketing costs and improved customer loyalty. Take this lesson into your life and start building a strong brand and reputation.

2. Actions Speak Louder Than Words

If you want to project power into the world, you need to do so with your actions. While words and reputation are important, your deeds take precedence.

Therefore, the first step to building a positive reputation, or for people to say good things about you, is to take action. The best way to take action positively is to start small and produce a positive outcome.

Power fundamentally arises from perceived competence. If you seem capable in one task, people are more likely to trust you with another, slowly building your power.

7 Psychological Laws of Power

3. Speak Little and Well

As Abraham Lincoln once said, “It’s better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.” Your words are one of the most influential ways you can interact with and affect the world.

This is why you need to be careful with how you speak. You will impress many people if you can learn how to say just enough to get your point across.

The opposite is also true; we all know how unconvincing a long and over-explained speech is compared to one that’s concise. Speak only as much as you need to, and you can start to command respect.

4. Control Your Anger

Anger is a contradictory emotion. While it may make you feel powerful, in reality, it makes you weak. Think back to when you last saw somebody lose their cool in public.

Were you intimidated, impressed, or did you feel like laughing at them? For many of us, the latter option is most instinctive, especially online.

While anger has its uses, you cannot let it control you. If you do, even for a moment, your reputation, which is the source of any power, can be undone.

5. Change Your Vocabulary

Did you know that certain power phrases can easily make you more persuasive? By using these phrases, you can more easily convince people of your beliefs or plan.

What are these power phrases? Research from Pennsylvania State University shows that using positive language most easily influences people.

If you orient your language towards the positive, for example, focusing on what you can do instead of what you can’t, you can begin to use your language as a tool of influence.

6. Make Yourself Scarce

Have you ever taken an economics class? The first thing you will have learned is that the supply and demand of a good determine its value.

This rule holds in relationships. Want to make yourself more valuable? Make yourself more scarce. If you make yourself or your talents harder to get, people will be more likely to seek them out.

Making yourself scarce is also a fantastic way to discover what people are willing to give up to spend time with or money on you.

7. Social Proof is Everything

Finally, what does your peer group say about you? While competence and a good reputation are valuable in the abstract, social proof generates the most power.

Social proof is simply the idea that people generally emulate the behavior of people around them. If you surround yourself with a team or group that respects you and trusts your judgment, other people, even those not in your group, are more likely to trust you.

Research has demonstrated the power of social proof by adding a small sign in a hotel that informed guests that most other guests reused their towels, increasing the reuse rate greatly.

Scroll to Top