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The Nature of Power

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Anna Boulton

on 5 February 2015

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Transcript of The Nature of Power

Course Theme
When we make a decision that affects the lives of other individuals, they should have a voice in that decision.

Two reasons we don't get what we want
It is not available now
pursue something that is available
The Nature of Power
Power is uniquely expressed
Power is associated with costs and risks
opportunity costs
time, effort, consequences
Power is neutral
Power exists in the here and now
Power is the ability to get all of what you want from the environment, given what's available.
Power is the ability
--can be influenced by external factors
You cannot empower or disempower someone
Others cannot empower or disempower you
To get all of what you want from the environment
Given what
is available
We disempower ourselves
by not being clear about what we want
by putting others' needs before our own
Power resides
in conscious choice
The curse of two choice strategies

The magic number...
How power is lost
1. Saying "I can't" when you mean "I won't"
2. Letting others' approval of you be more important than your own approval of you
3. Always putting other people first
4. Asking for permission inappropriately
How power is lost
5. Not being clear about what you want
6. Credentializing
7. Dealing in generalities
8. Demanding guarantees
9. Asking a question when you want to make a statement
10. Being unwilling to say "No"
Law of Enlightened Self-Interest
In the long run, people can be counted on to do what will be of greatest personal benefit to themselves, individually.
assumes strength
--what's in the best interests of the group members

--what's in the best interests of the organization
The more you know about how to get what you want --how to express your personal power-- the more likely you will be able to make a change happen.
The greatest danger
for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it,
But that it is too low
And we reach it.
Full transcript