Power differentials are a regular part of our lives. This is especially true in the workplace, where we’re expected to defer to those in positions of leadership or authority – everyone from our immediate supervisors to our company’s CEO.
The prospect of even speaking with our supervisors, especially during a performance review, can cause undue stress and anxiety. Fortunately, there are alternatives to these negative emotions and expectations! You can use your own personal power to open up the channels of authentic, meaningful communication – and most importantly, speak on behalf of yourself.
Remember That Power Is Not “Bad”
When we feel powerless, we often judge power as a negative thing that’s only capable of corruption. However, each of us is endowed with power from the moment of our birth. We can recover that unique power and channel it to serve our best interests!
Power in itself is neither good nor bad. It’s not something that someone has over you, at all times and in all space. It’s something you also possess.
Cherish Your Strengths
Once you’ve acknowledged that you too have power, you can speak your truth in a way that others – even figures of authority – will hear and respect. When you’re confident in your strengths, abilities and inestimable value as a person, others follow suit. Your sense of dignity, you’ll find, is contagious!
Use Your Power To Heal
We often anticipate that a manager or supervisor wishes us ill, when it may be a figment of our negative self-talk. We sometimes tend to forget that they too are human, and thus vulnerable to the same anxieties as we are! By remaining open to the other person, no matter the power differential, we can recreate a working relationship based on mutual respect, empathy and collaboration.
Sometimes, despite our BEST efforts, we cannot heal a damaged or broken connection with a supervisor- especially when that person isn’t willing to meet us halfway. In rare instances, power differentials in the workplace can tend toward abuse, and damage our self-confidence. Under no circumstances should you ever accept abuse. In those situations, you also have the power to act wisely and lovingly on your own behalf.
You have every right and every means of exiting a toxic or abusive workplace relationship, even when it involves great risk. Remain courageous. You have the power to do so!
Rediscovering our personal power is an endless, lifelong journey. If you’d like to share in this journey with me and other women, please reach out to the Spiral Path Healing Arts Center. I look forward to connecting with you!