How would you assess current your level of personal power at your workplace?
Would you say your workplace personal power level is average, above average, or below average?
What Personal Power means
If you ask people what personal power means, you will most likely get an assortment of answers.
Personal power is the influence and authority that a person has over those around them without the virtue of rank or position. In other words, others follow the people who have personal power voluntarily and not because it is mandatory.
Each of us naturally possesses a finite level of personal power for simply being a member of the human race. The question becomes how do we manage the personal power we are given. Do we build upon our natural personal power or do we give it away?
The fact is that most people give away their personal power.
Signs that your Personal Power is Depleted
There are several telltale signs that you have been giving away your personal power. They are quite common actually because, as we already said, most people choose to give away their power.
Here are some of the common signs that you have given your power away:
You always give in to what others expect of you. Either you constantly perform at low levels, or you always strive to please everyone around you.
You complain about your life, but make no attempts to change it. You have become quite negative about your position and circumstances, and don’t believe you can change it.
You are dependent on others and often allow them to make decisions for you. Your trust your peers completely when maybe you shouldn’t.
You feel helpless when trying to influence others. You have very little faith in your power of persuasion of others — even your closest friends.
You are not comfortable with conflict. You are willing to go way out of your way to avoid conflict with others.
You often feel like you have been wronged by others. You find yourself looking for reasons to be upset with circumstances because you feel that it will always negatively impact you in some way.
You constantly seek approval from others, if it is to your own detriment. That approval from others is something that you find yourself actually chasing after at times.
The Good News
Whenever you give away your personal power, then you have most likely given it away over a prolonged period of time. This is how it is usually done.
The good news is that you can start gradually reclaiming your personal power. It will not take as long to reclaim your personal power because you are now aware of taking it back — unlike when you were giving it away and had no clue that you were doing so.
Even more good news is that when you start reclaiming your power, it will be so subtle that others will be aware of what you are doing.
They will just start noticing some small changes in the way they feel about you — which is a very good thing.
You just have to be committed to slowly taking back your personal power. There will be times when you will have to stand firm. Occasionally, you will feel a little uncomfortable, but that’s okay — it only means you are on the right track.
10 Ways to Reclaim your Personal Power at the Workplace
We urge you to first apply these personal power principles in your workplace because that will probably be the biggest challenge for you. Secondly, doing so could have the quickest effect on your bottom line and earning power.
We recommend that you begin by applying these principles gradually. Start by picking the two easiest principles for you to accomplish from the list and begin applying those on a daily basis.
After that, pick the next two easiest principles and work on those — continue in this manner until you have mastered all of them.
Work through the list again and again as necessary until they become a part of you.
Here’s the list:
1) Never put too much trust in friends. All friendships vary from one to another, but generally speaking, friends will betray you quicker than anyone else in your life. The biggest reason is that we give them too much access to our lives — in many cases, we give them more access than even our own family members. They wind up knowing more about us than anyone else.
Secondly, all working situations typically require a certain distance between people who work there. You are trying to work there, not make friends; friendships only obscure this fact.
2) Keep your intentions concealed. If people are unaware of what your real goals are, then you never have to worry about them getting in your way. However, if you share your real goals with others, then it is too easy for them to begin considering them as their own goals.
In addition, when you constantly reveal what is on your mind and in your heart, you become too predictable, and predictable people have a harder time earning the respect of others.
3) Always say less than what is necessary. Whenever you attempt to impress people with words, the more common you appear and the less control you appear to have.
Powerful people have always impressed and intimidated others by actually saying less.
Humans naturally desire explanations, so when you offer few words, they nervously fill in the void with statements and comments that will reveal their own weaknesses.
4) Much depends on your reputation — protect it at all costs. Many great men have made the claim that reputation is the cornerstone of power, so building a strong one is well worth the effort.
With reputation alone, you can win and be intimidating, but when it weakens, you are vulnerable from all sides. Always be aware of any attacks to your reputation, regardless of how subtle, and take action immediately.
In the beginning, reputation can be built on one main quality such as generosity, intelligence, or cunning. Excel at this quality and watch your reputation slowly grow.
5) Always make the other person act first. When you get the other person to act first, then you are in control. Get them to abandon their plans and yield to your plans. You can even lure them if you have to.
The total essence of power is to force others to react to your moves, do not allow yourself to react to theirs. This principle can be difficult; you must master your own emotions in order to master this principle.
6) Avoid the unhappy and the unlucky. There is a saying that you can actually die from someone else’s misery because emotional states are as infectious as a disease. When you associate with the unhappy and unlucky, then you catch their mental afflictions.
Choose instead to associate with the happy and fortunate. In the game of personal power, the people you associate with are critical to you. This is because those people become your infectors — and you want good influences around you.
7) Learn to keep people dependent on you. In order to remain independent, you must have others dependent on you. The more you are relied upon, the more personal freedom you will have. When people depend on you for their own prosperity and happiness, then you have nothing at all to fear.
When the master depends on others for his or her needs, then the master is not really the master. This is the maximum leverage.
8) When asking for help from another, always appeal to their self-interest, and never to their mercy or gratitude. If you turn to an ally for help or assistance, always point out something that will benefit him for doing so. If you remind him of a past favor you have done for him, he will choose to ignore you.
Often times, you will find yourself asking for help from those who are more powerful than you. In such cases, this is the superior approach.
9) Use absences to increase honor and respect. Excess circulation always makes the price go down. If you are already established within your group, then make yourself scarce on occasion. Doing so makes you more admired and talked about.
Remember that there is always a point when too much presence will downgrade your value. Know when to make yourself scarce.
10) Cultivate an air of unpredictability. Humans are certainly creatures of habit who crave a sense of routine. The predictability of others gives them a sense of control. Since power is a matter of perception, you can turn the tables on those around you by becoming deliberately unpredictable.
This will give you instant personal power because you know your next move and those around you do not.