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Power and Emotion – What’s the Focus?

The big problem with focusing on ourselves, as we have described in our previous blog, is that certain important capabilities begin to be eroded. 

Research has shown that when feelings of power are evoked in us via this mechanism, we tend to become less empathic, more uncivil and more impulsive. We begin to lose our people skills and our thinking and decision making becomes less reliable. In other words, we become less able to read and connect with the people over which we have rank!   

As leaders we have a responsibility to become aware of our own feelings of powerlessness, enabling ourselves to exercise more conscious choice about how we will deal with those feelings. If we don’t practice the “know thy self” dictum, and don’t slow down long enough to become aware of our uncomfortable feelings, we are more likely to fall into the trap of using our rank to behave in ways that lessen uncomfortable feelings. Whenever we use our rank in that way, we begin to behave in ways that simply less effective. We will show less leadership. These steps will be happening so quickly, that we may be barely aware of it. 

The implications of using our rank to feel more powerful can be widespread. Read more about what it looks like to do so here.

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