Think about the last time you were frustrated. The problem was probably something outside of your control. Being hit with a life challenge in one part of your life can sometimes make you feel powerless, and that feeling can linger. If you could just flip a mental “switch” and get your mojo back!
While I have not found a switch per se, I have learned, observed, and practiced some techniques that can push away those frustrated, powerless feelings.
It’s helpful to look at the sources of power we can have. The most obvious are reward power, and coercive power – the power of a bully. While effective in the short-term, they are rarely appropriate for everyday situations.
Positional power is awarded to the boss. Even if someone is not a powerful person, their title gives them power. There’s not much one can do to tap into this source right away. Fortunately, there are others.
Referent power is the power to attract others and build loyalty. People with charisma, good looks, and interpersonal skills have a lot of this power. They are powerful because people want to be around them. Employees with referent power can stall company changes, or help them succeed. Management needs to identify people on their team with this power source, and make sure they manage them.
Similarly, expert power comes from what you know. People are drawn to your valuable expertise. Experts are needed beyond their organizational chain of command, and may have a public presence.
Unlike positional power, referent and expert power are available for anyone to own. You can become smarter, get into better shape, and learn how to be motivating for others. Most of the ways to increase your power are free. Books, blogs, and newsletters everywhere can tell you how to be a better listener, lose 5 pounds, or where to find your industry’s latest white paper.
So the next time you feel frustrated because things aren’t going your way, challenge yourself to increase your personal power. Take a walk, read an article, call a friend to listen; they all will help.
Better yet, make a list of things you always wanted to learn, appearance-enhancing steps you might want to try, and ways you can improve your interpersonal skills. Then when life delivers a challenge, you can select a way to regain some power and control.
To use this article in your newsletter or blog- you must include the following: Patricia Guerzo, President of GBSC, is an accomplished business executive with a proven record of enhancing bottom line results. http://guerzo.com