Each day the world is at work. Work is a means of survival. Your income pays for food, shelter, and other necessities. Work is also a place of power where you have a wealth of opportunities to increase your self-knowledge and self-esteem. At work, you can grow by embracing the lessons about power that are available to you. I am a personal and professional coach. In my work with clients, I see them constantly presented with situations and interactions in the workplace that involve power. One may have a boss who underestimates their abilities and frequently belittles them. Another may find they are frequently out of step, as if everyone else is playing a different game. Another may find work running their life. They may be way out of balance and everything and everyone around them is affected. When a client is in such a situation, I work with them to look beyond the surface and ask what they can learn from the situation.
You can do the same. If you have problems at work, put the focus squarely on you. This way, you immediately take control. This does not mean you can control others’ actions, but there is power in commanding your own life.
FOCUS ON YOUR POWER AT WORK
The key to prosperity and fulfillment at work is reclaiming your personal power. It is who you are, not what an organization or society want you to become that is the means for creating the work life and success you seek. Personal power at work is the ability to perceive your environment and the players in it from your own, unique point of view and to act from your center as you make choices and decisions.
Perceiving your environment requires an ability to see things as they really are. You must understand the game you are playing in. You can’t succeed at baseball, playing by football’s rules. What are the rules of the game that you are in? If you don’t know, start observing your workplace. What is the culture of your organization? What goals are focused on? Who gets rewarded? Then, turn your focus on you. Are your skills a fit with the game you are in? Are you playing by the rules? Do you like the rules? I’m not recommending mindless conformity here. It’s about awareness. You have to know the game before you can play it effectively. Each of us has our own individual voice in the world. To find that voice and express it is the meaning of fulfillment. Finding your voice is not an easy task. But, it is a journey worth taking. For as you express your unique voice in the world, all kinds of possibilities open up and you can fly as you never have before. What is your destiny? This question confounds many. The clues to your destiny lie in your inspiration. Finding your destiny is not just about you. The world needs your voice. Won’t the world be a better place with the real you in it? Finding your destiny is a form of service to yourself, to those around you and to the world.
Many things at work interfere with the ability to act from your center. How many times do negative emotions, insecurities, fatigue or misperceptions unfavorably cloud the decisions you have to make? The stress and time demands you face make it easy to lose your focus. If you strive for balance among the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of your life, you will increase your ability to act from your center. Also, it is important to acknowledge that you have choice in every situation. Choice keeps the power in your hands. There may be consequences that flow from a choice you make, but no one has the power to take that choice from you.
EXERCISING YOUR POWER AT WORK
When you face a difficult situation in the workplace, ask yourself:
How are you responding to the situation?
Is your response based on facts? Is it purely emotional?
What is in your power to change?
What is the particular learning for you here? How can it help you grow?
Once you’ve answered these questions thoughtfully, you are ready to develop your response to the situation. Think out what you want to do, what the possible consequences of your actions are, what actions you will take. From here, go forward. Value the learning from the situation. Acknowledge the opportunity it presents to you.
Taking situations into your own hands and responding to them increases your personal power. You can have fun with this. You can grow. You can become the arbiter of your own life rather than a target for the hapless games of others.
Copyright (c) 2007 Ann Vanino