In my executive coaching work power is a common topic. Power, or influence, enables us to engage, enroll and align others. It enables us to get more done via others. It enables us to move the organization forward in the ways we want it to move.
To really be present to yourself, to stand in who you are, to be powerful, it’s essential to know yourself intimately. And most of us weren’t taught how to do this as kids. It wasn’t popular at the time culturally, or you’ve been too busy trying to be who you think you’re supposed to be according to your parents, your friends, your workplace, heck—there are a lot of expectations out there.
Get More Power Now
Perhaps you’ve either been working on being more conscious or we’re just starting now. Here are four ways to claim your power and thus yourself and your place in the world:
1-Notice What You’re Avoiding – Start to look at your life and notice what you are “deleting”—is there a conversation you need to have that you’re avoiding? A relationship that needs more attention? Maybe your body needs more attention? Maybe you’re giving someone or something too much power over your life, time, emotions, energy?
2-Uncover The Story Behind What You’re Avoiding – What story are you telling yourself to try to make it OK that you’re avoiding? How are you justifying the avoidance? Notice if there is blame involved—are you blaming others for your avoidance? What’s the story you made up? What part of you is telling this story?
3- Determine The Cost – I have a client that was avoiding the fact that her CFO was a problem. She didn’t want to deal with it. Her story was she was too busy, it would rock the boat too much, she’d have a ton of extra work in recruiting the replacement. I asked her the cost of keeping the CFO – it was low morale in the entire company, high turnover in the CFO’s department, the list went on an on. Once she understood the cost clearly, she was able to increase her clarity overall.
4- Get Clear On What You Want – Then our client had to become very clear. Clear about her organization’s vision, mission/purpose, direction the organization is going, why, where, when, and then to help her people figure out the how. Like all great leaders, she needed to become clear about what she wanted, when, why, and what success looked like. She became clear about what is okay and what is not, the behavioral standards (values) that everyone must honor. And she became clear on how to model the values, and provide specific examples to her team.
5- Choose Differently – Once she was present to the cost I asked her what she would like. She said to get rid of the CFO. She chose differently. Then she had to keep choosing again and again and again until she found the right replacement. And then she wondered why she had waited so long!
How powerful do you feel?
How much choice and ability to move through your world do you have?
Which of the above five steps could you work on to boost your power?