Dignity – ‘an extremely powerful pose’
Robert Greene refers to the ‘Dignity of a king/queen in his book, The 48 Laws of Power’, Law 34: ‘Be royal in your own fashion – Act like a king to be treated like one.’ He maintains that acting with dignity is an ‘extremely powerful pose’.
A couple of posts ago Alan Joyce’s dignity under pressure was commented on. You could say that Joyce was embodying ‘the dignity of a king’ when he fronted the hostile Senate hearing.
Greene in his book makes an important distinction about what is, ‘the dignity of a king’. He says (and I’m paraphrasing from memory here, as I’ve mislaid my copy of the book): “Do not confuse regal bearing with arrogance. Arrogance may seem like the king’s entitlement. But it conveys insecurity. Dignity on the other hand demonstrates that nothing can bother you. You are above being intimidated. This is a extremely powerful pose.”
I would add that you really can’t attack dignity. (eg. no one is going to say you’re too dignified). And if you maintain your dignity, your cool, in the face of repeated attack – the attacker will usually give up, because he/she is getting no reward for their attacks.
Here is a link to the page that elaborates on ‘Law 34’.
The ‘how to apply’ for this post: In the next seven days, observe whether you and others respond with or without dignity in any pressure or challenging situation, and reflect on the perceptions conveyed through these responses.
p.s. Happy U.S.A. Thanksgiving Day. Thank you to my clients, business friends and associates for your support of my work.