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Showing confidence and power

Showing confidence and power

Harvey Spencer is flawed and fictional, yet his portrayal can teach you about confidence and power.

Much of learning to convey a deep sense of confidence and power has to do with frames.

Frames are the unspoken context that dictates the rules of any interaction.


5.5K reads

Control the frame with your body language and tone

Control the frame with your body language and tone

Harvey often surprises people by entering big and bold. He established the frame that the other person will react to his emotional state.

You’ll often see Harvey respond slower and subdued when somebody directs him to do something. He takes his time which communicates that he doesn’t need to jump because they say so.

When Harvey is in conflict with someone, he responds by not rising to it.


3.69K reads

Dictating the frame

Harvey has the ability to dictate the frame. Broadcasting that you’re always in control is not a good way to be,  but it does contribute to a sense of awe.

Harvey frames himself as nearly omnipotent. He dictates not what he’d like to happen or what he hopes will happen but how things will undoubtedly unfold.


3.55K reads


  • When people are nervous or want things to sound more like an invitation, they will use an upward inflection.
  • Commands and certainties are often spoken with downward inflections.
  • When you tell people what’s going to happen, you typically do it with a downward inflection.

For the purposes of charisma, setting a higher energy frame is best in entrances and greetings, while a slower, less reactive frame is more powerful in moments of conflict.


3.03K reads

When in confrontation, attack the frame, not the content

When in confrontation, attack the frame, not the content

Challenging the content would imply that you’ve accepted their frame and need to defend yourself. Shifting the framing is a verbal way of taking back control.

The simple act of not being so concerned with defending yourself when someone makes a joke about you will take you a long way. The less you focus on defending yourself, the better your banter will become.


2.72K reads

Have the belief that you are not there to impress

Have the belief that you are not there to impress

The unspoken frame is that others are lucky to be working with you. When others treat Harvey as inferior, he quickly asserts that he has the power to leave them. 

If you’re in any kind of sales role or client-facing role, you will do much better if you shift your mindset from “I’m selling to this person” or “I work for this person” to “this person needs me to partner with them.”

Rather than work for the praise of a client, Harvey allows them to earn his favour.


2.42K reads

Become an expert at framing people’s options

That way you can make people feel like you have total control over the situation. In reality, you only have control over the menu. The person who controls the menu controls the outcome. 

Harvey is savvy enough to recognise that there is always another option that suits him better than what the menu would offer.


2.74K reads

Create options for yourself

In any negotiation, the person with a better second option will win.

Harvey knows that he can always get another client or another job or find another way. He doesn’t need anyone specific to do anything for him. Instead, he can get what he wants and needs from various sources.

In your career, create options. You are more likely to get a raise if you’ve been developing your skills in your free time and you know you could get another job.


2.43K reads



Solve the problem or leave the problem. But…… Do not live with the problem.

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