Work & Power Learn to Use Power Subtly, but Effectively

June 29, 2008 by  
Filed under Self Development


As a woman, it’s not easy to manage people especially if you’re working around men or people who much older than you. You’re powerful but nobody like you. It clearly shows that you’re not using the power you have effectively and subtly. The most powerful person must be strong in knowledge, to be loves, to be respects, easy work with others, high tolerance, understanding, good planning, manage effectively, etc. Contrary to popular belief, power is really a nasty beast that can easily get out of control. However, it can be tamed if you know how to control yourself from inside outside.

Power is not all petunias and orchids. First, there’s the constant resentment you’ve to deal with among subordinates especially if there’re older than you. The constant bickering that goes on behind your back, making your job a friendless one. And the responsibility: You’re accountable for your team’s performance. Power is nasty thing indeed. But it doesn’t have to be that way. If used with care, power can help you achieved much more. Just remember the golden rule about getting people to do what you want: Making them want to do it.

Golden Rule # 1 Be Likeable

To be likeable by everyone is almost possible to be achieved. That’s why people always says We’re not living to satisfying everyone’s needs especially we as humans that never feel satisfied with what we’ve had and had been given. Think back to when you were in school. You can perhaps recall how you had to elect people into positions of power: The class monitor, head perfect, club president. Now, ask yourself why you elected whoever you did. It’s probably because you liked her. This business of being likeable cannot be trivialised. It’s hard to give your subordinate everything he wants. There is a solution, though. As a woman in power, you’re in a position to grant his that feeling of importance. Do so, and he’ll like you. There’s nothing better than having subordinates that like you.

Golden Rule #2 Avoid Making Enemies

We’ve all got an enemy or two at work, someone either above us or below us, waiting for his or her change to plot our downfall. But enemies and allies are cultivated, not made. If you’re already a likeable woman, then you’ve no doubt wont over your subordinates. Now, what about your peers? Your superior? How you can avoid turning them into enemies? The simple answer is not to offend them. You can do that by not telling them they’re wrong to their face. Instead find more diplomatic ways of bringing them around to your point of view. An easy way to do that is to feign ignorance….if only for a while. If your boss has asked you to do a project you know is doomed to failure, do not tell him straight-faced that it’ll never work. Instead, say something like, You think it will work? I thought it wouldn’t. I could be wrong, of course. But let’s go over this again, just to be sure….. See? The easiest way to avoid making enemies is to not unto them what you’d not want them to do unto you.

Golden Rule #3 Keep Your Power Secret

Much as we’d like to give our subordinates everything they want, sometimes it really is just not possible. Example, like changing his working hours, for instance: You may be powerful, but you’re not that powerful. Yet, how are you to convey the message to him without losing his respect? Easy: By never promising him anything. If you get into the habit of saying YES to every request, there’re going to come to expect that response, no matter what. Instead, say I’ll try, even for really easy stuff. You know you can get him a new PC, but there’s no need for him to know it. When he does get his new machine, he’ll like you very much for trying hard to get it for him. There might even be a glimmer of respect. But he didn’t really think you could do it therein lies your ace.

As long as you keep him guessing about how powerful you really are in the company, two great things will happen: First, won’t come running to you every time he needs something his first course of action will be to try and figure it out himself. Second, he’s not going to campaign against you because he’s under the impression that you’re nobody anyway. This makes it easier to work with him and vice versa. Power is useful when people can recognise it. But sometimes, it’s even more useful when they can’t.

Golden Rule #4 Double Your Power

We can become incredibly self-centred when it comes to preserving our power. But have you considered how you could use your subordinates to compound the power you already have? By thinking of them as allies instead of subordinates, you expand your power base over twofold: Your knowledge, their knowledge, and the combined synergy of both. But your subordinate must first feel he has some sort of power to begin with. To do this, help build him a reputation he must live up to you. You have a reputation. Perhaps you’re a gifted marketer  you make sure your sales never hit a slump. Similarly, once you recognize a particular talent in him (say he’s a good speaker), give him the opportunity to shine. Let him carve a name for himself. With his presentation skills and your acute marketing instinct, you’re a killer team. Your power base can only grow stronger.

Golden Rule #5 Praise, Don’t Criticise

Being in positions of power, we’re often tempted to flaunt it by criticising subordinates. Criticism is bad any way you look at it. Encouragement is a better bet. Make subordinates feel the need to improves themselves not get another job! End Result? The subordinate is on continues improvement curve, and you get a competent worker. Criticising a person’s failures will only compound his belief that he’s not up to task. Motivating him to keep going, however, will make him rise to the challenge.

Golden Rule #6 Don’t Abuse Your Power

There are many types of power expert, emotional, political, and circumstantial but how you use each of them determines how you’ll fare in an organisation. Let’s take expert power. This means you’ve particular skill or knowledge that pretty much makes you near indispensable to the firm. You’re an asset to any organisation because of this skill and you know it. There is nothing wrong with knowing that you’re good at what you do. But when you start holding the company ransom and threatening to not perform because you’re unhappy about something, you put your bosses in a difficult situation. They begin to resent you for your skill, and the only thing worse than being resented by your subordinates is to be resented by your superiors. Don’t abuse your power for personal gain. Remember: You’re near-indispensable. Not irreplaceable.

  • Winsor Pilates

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