I'm not a huge CLer so with that disclaimer out of the way...
... my position is, what's going on underneath?
For example, when I say boots need to be on before we go out in the snow or else our feet will be cold, I'm more or less stating a fact. This can be tested by my son if I decide to let him see how his socks get wet and his feet get cold. So I don't see that as manipulation.
However, when I say "Chores need to be done before play," then I'm kind of making a value statement about the order in which I would like them done. Do I think this is a good value? Well yah, pretty much. Do I prefer that my home operate this way? Yes.
Is it some kind of natural law? No, actually, it isn't. It's easier (kids get tired and then cranky about chores) but the fact pretty much is that if the garbage is picked up at 7 am, putting it out at 9 pm because I like to have it done does not change that putting it out at 6:59 am will actually have the same result - it gets picked up by the truck.*
So yes I think there is a kind of manipulation in the second situation in that I am trying to create a rhythm that is not strictly consequence based. It really is about my preferences and I really am trying to make people conform to that. If I make a rule about chores before play, it's a little more arbitrary than "chores need to be done today."
So that off my chest how do I (again, non-CL) handle this? Right now it's easy. I do say "let's do chores before play."
If we get into a power struggle about it then I personally tend to drop it, because it's really just a preference and not actually worth it to me to spend my time and energy fighting it. It would feel artificial to me. My son is only 3 so this means his chores (like putting his cup in the sink) are not always done on time or at all.
In the future when he's older, I think I would talk it out more, like "bedtime in 20 minutes and chores were put off, so time to do them" or "yesterday you played first and the chores did not end up done. That upset me. What do you think is a good plan for changing this?"
And of course most importantly I model this myself. I believe that's where most of the learning comes from, esp. at this age.
ETA: * of course there's the risk that you'll miss it. But it's funny. I work with people who work early, and people who work to deadline, and although the people who work to deadline risk missing it a bit more (sometimes), I also appreciate how their approach helps them build a whole different set of skills in last-minute-greatness and stick-to-it-iveness-in-the-face-of-panic. It really does take all kinds.
ETA II: I guess what I'm saying is that I don't find it manipulative when I am problem-solving a REAL problem openly. But when I'm just laying out "how this problem should be solved," then I do. Hope that is a good summary. This post got really long sorry!