Power is normally associated with negative connotation. Judgmental terms like “exploitive”, and “harsh” are used to describe how influence and power are exercised. Although this is true, leadership and power is neither personal nor negative per se. however, the type of power an individual exercises tends to develop over a period of time and the way they utilize their power on other people may be evaluated ethically.
Personal power is the ability to have influence over others; a quality that an individual possesses internally rather than being bestowed by the position he/she holds. Personal power is as a result of competence, strength and confidence that an individual steadily acquires as he/she develops. This power represents a step towards transcendent and self-realization aims in life; its main goal is mastery of oneself, not other people. This type of authority is more of state of mind or attitude rather than a desire to control others (de moll, 2010).
Changing a habit is one way of practicing personal power, for example, quitting smoking or controlling emotional reaction. How efficiently and effectively one changes his/her behavioral pattern is a way to gauge his/her personal power. Desire is the main factor that is considered when determining the ability to change unsatisfactory behavior into success. Change will occur at a faster rate if the desire is stronger.
An effective way to build personal power is by breaking energy-wasting behaviors that do not serve any purpose. Most individuals possess amazing quantities of personal power in their daily lives but they waste it in bad behaviors and end up being exhausted in the long run. Individuals often commit themselves to improve their lives yet they do not possess personal power reserve required for them to succeed in all their endeavors.
For one to succeed at improving his/her behavior, one needs to possess personal power reserve from which he/she will draw personal power. One sure way to gain personal power is to stop the bad habits and instead channel the energy into doing something productive. For example, if an individual wants to include going to the gym for exercises in his schedule, he/she must eliminate some habit so that free time is available. The same also applies to personal power.
If one wants to focus his/her attention on developing new behavior, one must first draw his/her attention away from an old habit.Another way of increasing personal power is by being authentic. It takes tremendous amounts of energy for people to be themselves and to live their values out loud. A person’s beliefs and values are what defines a person. Authenticity requires being vulnerable; there are chances that one may get rejected. Nothing drains a person’s personal energy like living a lie.
Appeal to a higher purpose is to search for something of greater importance than oneself. Higher purpose may be a combination of social, intellectual or spiritual value. People have a longing for esteem and belonging, which leads them to consent to social values that are not from within themselves. Thus they accept the higher purpose of the society in general. The purpose of spiritual persuasion value cannot be challenged as long as the authority that pronounced the terms and conditions is endorsed as an authority.
There are many different forms of personal power, from positional power to personal power where one uses his/her influence to accomplish the set objectives. There are different variants of influence: for instance, collaboration, rational persuasion, and inspirational appeals. They all have situations that they are the best option but the most important influence pattern is rational persuasion.
Rational persuasion is presenting a well-reasoned, logical explanations as to why one believes his/her ideas are the best option without issuing threats to team mates. In the process, the person gives his team members the reason to make his/her ideas their ideas. The more effectively a person does this, the less likelihood that he/she will face opposition. Rational persuasion naturally works best and makes sense.
Rational persuasion requires a person to be genuine so that it works. One must have an in-depth understanding of the subject such that he/she can make his idea appeal to leaders and coworkers alike. More importantly, establish facts, because one misinterpretation or falsehood automatically leads to loss of audience. It is impossible for persons to get buy-in for their ideas if their team members do not trust them, or if they are simply wrong.
Facts can be easily checked; when facts are summarized together in graph and charts, they help team members and coworkers to easily understand the message being conveyed. Majority of people prefer to not change what they already understand because they fear contradicting themselves or even confusing themselves further. That’s when rational persuasion comes in. one can also apply rational persuasion to gain the trust of a client in sales and marketing environment.
What does it take to get what you ask for? Culturally, it is not always possible for one to ask directly what he/she wants. Instead of people stating their desires, they often beat around the bush. They usually walk away from conversations without articulating their message, expressing themselves, or their expectations.Fewpeople possess the skill of knowing how to ask for what they want. A person who knows how to ask well gets what he wants quickly.
de Moll, K. E. (August 2010). Everyday Experiences of Power. TN: University of Tennessee: Knoxville.
Fautsch, L. (January 2007). Persuasion. The American Salesman, 52(1), 13-16.
Gass, R. H. (2010). Persuasion, Social Influence, and compliance gaining (4th ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Yukl, G. A. (2010). Leadership in Organizations. Upper Saddle River. NJ: Pearson Education Inc.
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BA 421 week 6 Assignment Personal Power.docx