Disclaimer: We have no affiliation with Russia, Putin. We do not endorse his politics, tactics, strategy, or actions.
To get better at learning things from those you analyze, be realistic about which aspects of their behavior you can adopt immediately and which habits have been shaped by years of practice and hard work. This case study will highlight a select few seconds from various video clips of Vladimir Putin. We will highlight and expand on three small, and possibly unnoticed aspects of his behavior towards others. These tips are powerful because you can adopt them instantly, without needing to become the president of Russia in order for them to work.
Vladimir Putin is, without question, a very influential man. Set aside your personal opinions in the spirit of objective analysis. Differentiating good, adoptable, lessons from those you vehemently disagree with is a skill that should consistently be practiced. With this preface out of the way, let’s attempt to discover aspects of his persona we can all adopt.
Practice Making People Feel Important
It goes without saying that those who interact with Putin are almost always aware of the power which he yields. Being in the presence of those in power makes us feel a sense of power ourselves during the time we spend around them. We associate the sharing of presence and time with powerful leaders as a series of good decisions made on our part. After all, if Vladimir Putin is in the room with you, then you must be doing something right. Vladimir Putin, like any man in power, recognizes the effect that his presence has on others in this regard. A way to leverage this power to a greater extent is to play to the desire for others to feel important.
Already drunk on the power of being in the same room as Vladimir Putin, the people sitting at the table in the video below are susceptible to being swayed by the attention which Putin can provide. Take a look at how Putin prefaces the points that he goes on to make about the geo-strategic balance of power at the very beginning of the following video (watch the first 30 seconds):
Notice the language which Putin uses to seemingly disassociate himself from the position of power which he holds in the room. Before going over his points, he reiterates the fact that he does not care to be represented accurately in the publications from which the people at the table come from. Showing a personable side, Putin makes his listeners feel more important than an average journalist should feel. He brings them into his inner circle for the time-being, and has what seems to be a heart-to-heart conversation with his listeners.
The act of making people feel important will serve to lessen the number, and strength, of disagreements that come your way. By letting his listeners into a more personal discourse, Putin disarms, or at least suppresses, the critics that may have been in the room. As someone who is fully aware of the power with which he is perceived, he utilizes it to benefit himself by allowing the ones around him to feel worthy of his personal time and opinions.
Making the ones around you feel important not only serves to cancel out the critiques which come your way. Think of it as a method which makes it easier to achieve a variety of goals you have surrounding the people in question. Making people feel important will help you get your ideas adopted, your mistakes forgiven, and your requests granted. It serves to generally soften people up to whatever it is that you desire from them.
Take into account the power dynamic at play as well. In the example above, Putin holds the power in the room and makes the ones around him feel important in an effort to soften their critiques. It is an equation with two beneficiary parties. You do not need to be the one in power to utilize his technique, as you can yield the same effects if you make those more powerful feel even more important.
Master Transitioning Between Being Warm and Cold
The constant transition of your frequency, inflection, and attitude towards others can serve to keep their attention focused on you. Being predictable in the tone with which you speak will cause people to tune out sooner and predict your motives more effectively. People hear your tone before they comprehend the words you speak, and their analysis of your tone will cause them to begin planning their response prematurely. A switch-up of tone can be used as an effective way to keep the audience’s attention as well as disrupt any preconceived plans of rebuttal your direct listener had in store.
Putin does exactly this in the video clip below (watch for 1 minute). He begins addressing his evaluation of proof against Russia in the meddling of U.S. elections. His tone is serious and direct. He makes his stance against the allegations, set forth by Megyn Kelly, clear. The expression on Megyn Kelly’s face can be analyzed as having expected this response from Putin. He then switches up his tone to one of humor in what comes as a surprise, to which the audience reacts. However, he does not relish in the warmth of the humorous situation, and get’s right back to his cold approach of establishing innocence.
His humorous addition to the serious topic at hand served the purpose of keeping the crowd on his side, and catching Kelly off guard.
The crowd’s laughter is now a point of focus for her to comprehend before moving on. The translations which she hears are not in real time, thereby there is a chance she may have thought the joke was at her expense.
Take notice of how quickly Putin transfers between a serious tone and look, to one of humor, then back to strength. Notice how he looks at his opponent in this situation and how commanding he is of the frequency with which he leads the conversation. He speeds it up, slows it down, turns to humor, then back to direct and somewhat blunt rebuttal. He flaunts the control he has of the room in subtle and effective fashion.
Practice the art of switching up the tone of your speech and conversations. Study the perfect times to throw in a joke when the ones you’re speaking with least expect to hear it. Practice being cold and direct for bursts and relieving the tension with warm consultation. Lower others’ guard by being warm in moments they expect you to be at your coldest, then strike again once they’ve adopted a false sense of security.
Always Know How to Fit In With Those Less Privileged
Being low in privilege, in this regard, is a term which we’ll use to encompass anyone who’s at a level lower than you are. This can mean lower in skill, in social status, or in wealth. Being kind and relate-able to those who are a step below in the privileges that you hold is an important part of maintaining your influence over them. The people who are less privileged than you will be the backbone of the power which you seek to maintain. Putin understands that being relatable to those beneath him is an important image to uphold. It may seem to be an obvious task to have as a leader of a nation, but it is a difficult act to portray if you truly fall out of touch.
The video below studies the act of Putin solemnly standing in the rain without an umbrella to pay his respects to fallen soldiers. Those in the military, their friends, and family, are all a part of the general population which Putin leads. The simple act of choosing to not use an umbrella portrays the image that he holds those beneath him with utmost respect. It is a simple, seemingly unimportant, and easy action to take which yields a rather surprising positive return. People can relate to the motives behind refusing to hold an umbrella during this occurrence. The act speaks loudly to placing others before your own comforts, and gives off an image of altruistic care. The fact that he is being asked about it (and the existence of a viral video) is testament to the respectable nature of his act.
Try your best to be kind hearted and relatable to those less privileged than yourself. Your doing so will gain understanding from those you lead, and improve your image in their view. Your will be more trusted, more backed in difficult times, and spoken fondly of. Be willing to help those in need, and be sympathetic to the struggles you personally do not experience day-to-day. Your willingness to relate to your followers in a humanistic manner will separate you from the natural feelings of resentment people hold towards those in power. Focus on developing a strong backbone for leadership by being emotionally backed by those you lead. Once you attain and maintain the goal of garnering respect from your followers, your leverage over your competitive peers will inherently strengthen.