Know your power style at work

What’s your typical way of exerting influence? What’s your power style? How do others experience your power in conversations?

Frustration with power styles in interactions – the effectiveness of our own styles, and our irritation with other people’s power styles – is a common theme for managers and leaders. In fact, it is a common theme for anyone interacting with others!

As I’m working on some practical guiding principles about power play in conversations, I came across a new book on power style: Power Genes: Understanding Your Power Persona–and How to Wield It at Work.

The author, Maggie Craddock, outlines four different power styles. The four styles are:

  • Pleaser
  • Charmer
  • Commander
  • Inspirer

She links our habitual style to our earliest experiences with power dynamics in our family. Each of these styles has their strength side and their shadow side.

The key is to be aware of our default style, and to take a more thoughtful approach instead of going straight to our first impulse. With greater understanding of your preferences and a greater range of power styles, you can be more effective in how you relate and attempt to influence.

For a quick overview of the four styles, how we develop them, and how we can use them more effectively, check out this short interview with the author.

Also download this article on key concepts and principles around power in organizations – Power Politics Persuasion.

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