Power Orientation
by:  George Tannous, PhD

Become a Certified Life Coach

Print Module 3
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Power Orientation Lesson at lifecoachbootcamp.com

Important: Before you study this lesson please watch this video, “Why?“.  Example:  If you or your client are in a relationship and the other person displayed an attitude of not being “Truthful”, you’ll need to master, and you’ll need to educate your client the following: “Confront and Level!”,  “Assertive Communications!”, as well as “I Feel Good, PST!”.

Make sure to answer the questions at the end and follow the instructions for submission!


You might be asking yourself, “I am not a criminal, why do I need to learn this?”  Well, the answer is simple. We are all humans, and “Power Orientation” is recognized by psychologists as a “Criminal Thinking Error.”  Study it, you or someone else has displayed this trait in a relationship!

With great power comes great responsibility. We all have heard this phrase from the beloved Uncle Ben in Spider Man. But still, how many people choose to live by these words? We have all met people in our lives that can be labeled as control freaks. These people try their best to control each and every aspect of a situation and tend to dominate other people. For these people, the opinions of others don’t hold any value and they adopt many tactics to control and manipulate others to achieve their goals. 

This is known as power orientation; one of the eight cognitive characteristics that career criminals share. Let’s take a deeper look at how criminals use power orientation to get what they want and the tactics they use to manipulate people around them for selfish gain.

Power orientation in criminals:

Criminals use power orientation to gain control over a situation and to gain a sense of superiority over the others. But why do criminals do that? What do they possibly acquire from dominating others?

Many criminals indulge in this behavior to avoid experiencing the zero state. When a criminal doesn’t have complete control, he feels like a loser, a failure, or a complete nobody. One can say power orientation has two extreme states, one is zero state and the other is power thrust. Hence, in order to escape the zero state, a criminal indulges in “power thrust,” which allows him to impose his dominance on others to achieve control. 

For criminals, the use of power in a responsible manner is never satisfying enough. Even when there is nothing that can possibly be gained from a situation, a career criminal will choose to be manipulative, deceiving and controlling. A person who indulges in power thrust to escape zero state can never become a good leader, as leading others is often similar to controlling and dominating people.

The worst part is this behavior extends to almost every aspect of a criminal’s life including personal, professional as well as social life. Career criminals also indulge in the non-violent action of asserting and attempting to prove themselves superior. 

These means include showing off an expensive car, being with the most desirable woman or flaunting expensive clothes. The goal behind engaging in this behavior is to gain attention and acquire control over the environment.

Now let’s take a look at the tactics a career criminal uses to engage in power orientation to gain complete control of a situation.

Tactics used in power orientation!

According to a case study published by Dr. William N. Elliott, to acquire control over a situation, a career criminal uses certain tactics. The aim of each tactic varies and helps a criminal to reinforce dominance. There are 12 tactics used by career criminals some of which are as follows:

Testing: By using this tactic, a career criminal intends to gather information and test the gullibility or leniency of a person. The information gathered can be used to humiliate, torment, or dominate someone just to prove oneself superior.

Extortion: By using extortion as a tactic, a career criminal tends to intimidate or force people into doing something they don’t want to do.

Diversion: We all have witnessed this one in heist movies. Creating a diversion or distraction is one of the most common tactics used by criminals to engage in activities that help them break the law.

Disreputation: This tactic is used to strip someone from his or her status in front of his peers or coworkers to diminish someone’s authority.

Divide and rule: Divided we fall, united we stand. Isn’t this absolutely true? A career criminal indulging in power thrust uses the tactic of divide and rule to gain control. The aim is to create conflict between people to gain authority.

Gossip: Another tactic used by career criminals to undermine others is by spreading rumors. Rumors are created and spread in order to defame a person in authority. These rumors bring harm to a person when they are blindly accepted by their peers.  

Intrusion: Intrusion helps a career criminal to step over boundaries and establish relationships with people in authority. But what’s the goal behind intrusion? How can establishing a relationship cause harm? The reason why this is harmful is because the goal is to neutralize the authority and be on the same level to bring balance.

How can power orientation be corrected?

It’s exhausting to live with people who demand control and authority. The dominating nature often backfires and ruins interpersonal relationships.

It’s important for people who indulge in power orientation to realize that they do not have the right to control, manipulate, deceive, or dominate other people. It’s important for them to understand that their relationships will thrive if, instead of controlling others, they engage in serving others.

Another factor that can help to correct power orientation is practicing empathy. Would you like to be dominated, deceived, manipulated, used, or controlled by someone else? How would you feel if someone imposes their will on you or used one of the above-listed tactics for personal gain? Asking these questions can help a person who engages in power orientation see and understand other people’s points of view and correct their behavior.

One more effective way of overcoming power orientation is to face the zero state. A person gets tempted to engage in power thrusting when he faces the zero state. Reminding oneself that he does not have complete control over an environment can help a person cope. As one faces the zero state over and over again, he or she starts focusing on self-discipline. Soon, the person starts to realize that the emotions, thoughts, and feelings associated with zero state have little or no control over them.

Last, but not least, talking to a therapist can help rectify the situation and become free from power orientation. A therapist can help you become free from zero state and live a healthy and happier life.  

The essay

Please write an essay, up to two pages, about a past experience you or someone you know had when you were “Power Oriented”. Tell us in detail, who, what, when, where, why, to whom, the time, the place of what you did. The outcome! And tell us in detail how you could have changed that use from what you learned today so the outcome would have been good. Internalize this lesson. Make it become a part of you.  Share your story in the Forums.

Our advice is for you to practice “Not Being Power Oriented” for at least a week. Tell others around you to point out any event in which you didn’t. Have them hold you accountable. Visit the Forum and do a “CONFESSION.”

What is a Confession? A Confession is when you’ve displayed a wrong behavior and were held accountable by one of your family members, peers, or even yourself.  Visit the Forum and tell us about it. We will give you feedback! Make sure to watch the video about Confession for more details! Furthermore, become a member of the Forum and give feedback to others!

Read the article? Time to introspect!

  1. Do you find yourself controlling or dominating others? Why do you think you indulge in such behavior?
  2. According to you, what are the traits of a good leader?
  3. Have you ever worked with someone who used disreputation to diminish authority? How was your experience?
  4. How do you feel when someone gossips about you? How do you positively cope with it?
  5. What do you think are the characteristics of a thriving relationship?




This module includes the following:

Jump to Module:  Module 1: “Attitudes.  Followed by, “Your Logical Thoughts”.  Then, “Your Unlawful Thoughts”.  Then, “How Well Do You Communicate”.  Then, “Drugs, Alcohol, and You”.  Then, “Your Uncontrolled Anger”.  Followed by, “Is Your Life in Balance”.  Finally, “Your Relationships”.

There is no way any relationship will survive without having the qualities mentioned above.

Make sure to read each article carefully at least three time. Print your workbook (will be available per lesson.)  Answer all questions and enter them in your workbook. Once you have completed this entire journey, you will be issued a Life Coach Certificate so long as you’ve been a member of the “Forums.”


Also, follow the instruction for sharing your story in our Forums as well as participating in our “Forums,” especially our unique “Confessions Forum” so you may gain practice, knowledge, experience, and expertise!


I am thankful that you have given me this opportunity to share all of this with you. May God bless you and bring prosperity and peace into your life.

Respectfully yours,

George Tannous, PhD

Please Join The Forums. Watch Video

This is Where Confessions, Attitude Checks, Accountability, Give and Receive Feedback Comes in. Practice for Your Own Practice!

Well, you might be asking yourself “How am I going to get practice for my practice?”  Great question and I thought you’ll never ask!  

#1 You are part of a group with the same interests.

#2  You have a question in regards to one of your clients and we are here to help you.

#3  Others have questions and you can give feedback and help them.

#4  You need to do a confession.

#5  And much more.

You Are Never Alone!  Join the Forums!

Once you have completed this entire journey, you will be issued a Life Coach Certificate.  Must participate in our Forums to get certified!  You’ll achieve your internship by joining and partcipating in our “Forums”.