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Power Strategies for the Workplace

Aug 05, 2023 at 2PM to 3PM

The modern workplace can be difficult to navigate without the proper tools. So, here are six power strategies to stay ahead in any business environment.

Always Get the Truth, Even If It Hurts

Part of seeing a situation clearly is having people you trust who can offer their outside observations. They can help you see what you don’t want to (or can’t) see, helping you assess different situations effectively. Ensure that the people around you know that telling you the truth will not offend you. The ability to hear the truth - or the ‘truth’ of people’s impressions and opinions - will make you stronger and smarter and help you succeed.

Cultivate Your Network

Building a network of people at work or in your profession is absolutely essential to building a career. You should have a mix of people, including those high up in the company, colleagues, and more junior people—also people at other companies who can make you aware of opportunities outside of your bubble. Having a strong network is essential to rising in any profession.

Stand Up for the Less Powerful

Sticking up for other people who don’t have much power is an honourable thing to do, but it can also be self-serving. The people you speak up for will be loyal to you and will fight for you and your ideas in the future.

On the flip-side, speaking up on behalf of people who have more power than you against those with less power runs the risk of you being seen as a suck-up and a bully.

If It Comes Down to Being Liked or Respected, Choose Respect

This is a situation that often happens to women in the workplace, being caught between qualities people associate with being female (modesty, compassion, putting others first, soft-spoken, nurturing) and the qualities people associate with a good leader (independence, firm, outspoken, assertive, not caring too much what people think).

However, where harsh or domineering men might be respected or tolerated in leadership positions, people often react very differently to an assertive or authoritative woman. But sometimes, getting the job done correctly involves being blunt, direct, and assertive.

Avoiding Risk Is Risky — When in Doubt, Take Action

Asking for a raise or a promotion, applying for a new job, or launching a new project requires enormous risk and vulnerability. Wanting to avoid that risk and the possibility of rejection is a big reason people shy away from negotiating or asking for more. But avoiding risk is not always a safe choice and may leave you stuck in a situation that makes you miserable.

Embrace the Struggles that Arise; They Are Setting You Up for Success
The professional world can be incredibly difficult and unfair, especially for women and other marginalised workers. It can involve an incredible amount of perseverance and struggle. That’s not okay or fair, but it does offer its own kind of gift. Overcoming difficulties builds strength, tenacity, and character. And successes feel that much sweeter when you have had to fight for them.