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Authority and Power

 

Techniques Interrogation > Authority and Power

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Play on the position of authority and power that you have. Let them know that you can do anything you want.

Push them to follow childhood lessons of conforming to parents and those with official authority, such as police and teachers.

Show the relevant symbols. If you are in the police or military, wear the uniform. If you are in business, wear an expensive suit. If you are a doctor, wear the white coat and stethoscope. Look smart, whatever the uniform.

Talk with authority. Do not use floppy language. Be confident and assertive.

Example

That was wrong! Do you think you can win? Well you cannot. Do as you are told now and tell me what happened!

Right. I want to know where you were last night...Come on -- I don't have all day!

Stand up. Now. Look me in the eye when I am talking to you. Tell me who else was there.

Discussion

'Speak softly and carry a big stick' is a common quote. Speaking softly indicates that you do not need to shout, because you already have all the power you have. 'Carrying a stick' can be indicated by the symbols of power.

People are programmed in early childhood to recognize and accept parental control. This unquestioned compliance is later extended to teachers, priests and others in positions of vested authority.

Particularly when other interrogative techniques have caused the person to regress to a child-like state, authoritarian methods are more likely to succeed.

See also

Authority principle, Power, Assertiveness, Regression

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