Provocation is the oldest known trick in the science of self development. It is well known for its negative uses. But we will focus on the positive aspects of it here.

The idea is to provoke a person into action, by playing the devil's advocate or by denying that the person can change often exaggerating the situation to extremes. Some extreme forms of provocation are insulting and being rude to the subject.

That said, when done correctly and when it does initiate change, Provocation is a good form of creating leverage. Basically Provocation is a leverage mechanism.

Also see Dickens Pattern.