High-level positions often come with responsibilities, stress, and accountability. But, they also come with power and authority given through the position in the organization. This “given” power is crucial in negotiations, decision making, and influencing people and events.
Often we think if we are not in a high-level position we don’t have power. Well, power comes in many forms. Even without the given power from our position, there are ways we can influence people and events.
Let’s take a look at five types of power, along with suggestions for how to achieve them.
Competence Power – Being good at what you do and having a track record for achieving outcomes can bring competence power that enables you to influence people. Demonstrate that you have the skills required to do the job.
Professional Power – Credentials, degrees, and certificates in your field get attention and provide leverage in situations where you need to influence people. Join a professional organization.
Resource Power – Your position may come with commodities, goods, or services that other people may want. Used carefully, this type of power can provide leverage in situations needing influence. Anticipate resources others will need.
Charismatic Power – Your personal attributes such as speaking skills, sense of humor, and being likeable help you to connect with and attract people. Charismatic power has been successfully used by world leaders both good and bad throughout history. Believe in yourself and what you say; work to inspire others.
Associative Power – Your relationships with high-level or powerful people brings you associative power. Associating or being identified with powerful people lets others know you are connected. Have a mentor, sponsor, or influential ally to back up your ideas.
These five types of power are considered “earned” power. They are gained from your own efforts to better yourself personally. Developing a strategy to utilize these types of power can certainly enhance your ability to influence people and events even though you are not in a high-level position.
Speaking of influencing people and events! We have a workshop that covers this exact topic. Check out How to Influence People and Events.