Is Power a Dirty Word?


I recently facilitated a Power Workshop with a group of women at a major university. I asked them to use sticky notes to write the emotions they feel when they think about power. We posted them to a white board where we quickly saw that about three quarters of the feelings were negative.

Power is just a tool, like a pencil or computer, that can be used for good or bad. So why was this group’s overwhelming primary response negative? My guess is that more than once we have all been terribly frustrated and disappointed by people in the workplace who have used power to thwart us, whether it be a boss, colleague or other person who doesn’t have our best interests at heart. It happens often in the workplace. A boss uses her power to keep you from trying something new, or to micromanage you, or to “forget” to write a performance review, or to continually tell you you aren’t ready to be promoted with no plan to get there or…..

You name it, lots of people at work are on power trips from hell. And it can have a devastating impact on us. But there are some who use power for good. Seek them out, be a part of their circle of influence. And Learn from them. So, take a moment to listen to  Simon Sinek and prepare to be inspired on your path to be more powerful. It can be used to do tremendous good. Therefore, learn how and you will make work a better place for you and the people you work with.

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