Hey Leaders! Do You Really Want More Power?

by blogadmin 2. November 2017 04:46

Have you met that rising leader or team member that is always right? Or one that drains the energy from the meeting? Research shows that increasing personal power actually begins to interfere with our ability to empathize. Berkely social psychology professor Dacher Keltner found that subjects under the influence of power became more impulsive, less risk-aware, and crucially, less adept at seeing things from other people's point of view. 

In fact, power can actually change how the brain functions according to Canadian neuroscience researcher Sukhvinder Obhi. His study finds power primes our brain to screen out peripheral information. How does it happen?

Slowly and then suddenly. It happens with bad little choices, making isolated decisions and then throwing one's weight around shows up. Demands for special treatment might be the big finish. We've all heard about leaders who've been pulled over and become indignant yelling, "Do you know who I am?!" They reach a point where their power was once helpful to others has turned to power motivated by self-interest.

What can leaders do to keep their power in check? They must invite others in and ask for feedback from a wide variety of people. Don't be afraid to ask employees and colleagues the tough questions. Start with these:

-Are you keeping the small, inconvenient promises that fall outside of the spotlight?

-Do you keep people around you that help you stay down to earth? 

-Are you the same person at home, work and in the spotlight? 

-Do you get defensive when an employee or team member offers you a suggestion? 

-Do you isolate yourself in the decision-making process? 

-Do your decisions reflect your values? 

-Do you admit your mistakes?

-Do you demand special privileges?

 Lastly, a good executive coach or mentor can help you keep or return to the state of empathy and value-driven decisions. 

 

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