How To Use Power As A Manager

Being a Manager means that you are working in a very political environment, where decisions are made as a result not always of proper business processes, but by the impact of the relative power of those actually making the decisions.

Power is demonstrated, and executed, in many different ways, some of which are seldom seen but which have a very strong impact upon activity within the business.

As an individual manager working within an operational setting it is important to think about and look to develop your own power so that your influence and impact is maximised.

The trick here is to follow the steps below, assessing your performance and impact honestly and accurately, so that you fully understand what power you actually have.

  1. Be very clear what your goals are and what you are trying to achieve.
  2. Make a valid assessment of the patterns of power in your working environment and identify which people and groups are influential and important for the achievement of your goals.
  3. Keep track of what points of view and opinions other people and groups have, how they communicate this and how they might react to what you have to say on issues and work delivery.
  4. Identify what sources of power individuals and groups have and which of these sources you can activate in relevant circumstances.
  5. Accurately assess what sources of power you have at your disposal and, very importantly, how you can develop these further.
  6. Understand, and keep reviewing, which strategies and tactics are most relevant in what situations and what the results of this might be.
  7. Chose an effective and appropriate strategy on the basis of the 6 points above to achieve your goals.

Power and influence are basic characteristics of all organisations and seemingly rational issues like strategy, structures, mission and goals have a strong political dimension. In reality we have to balance this against developing trust and teamwork to get the best chance of personal success within that working environment.

Good Luck!

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