Trans4mind Home Page
~ Making the Human Heart Visible ~

Inspiring Quotes of the Week + super bonuses!


Creating a Culture of Shared Power

By Martha Lasley

The myth of scarcity says there isn’t enough power and we each have to fight for our piece of the pie. But in fact there is enough power for everyone, and the supply is unlimited. Many associate power with domination and oppression, but that’s not the essence of power. Power can be compounded and multiplied, like two friends at the gym working together to both become strong. In the same way, we can cultivate a shared-power culture where all needs matter.

Power is simply the ability to meet needs. If we’re powerless, we focus on our own needs, but real power means we mobilize resources to meet the needs of all. I’ve seen plenty of people from third world countries with limited access to resources, barely enough food to survive, focus on others more than themselves. Yet I also know people with millions of dollars still focused on hoarding. We can recognize true wealth and true power as the honoring of the well-being of all people. From this perspective, there are three kinds of power:

  • Power-over
  • Power-within
  • Power-with

As skilled practitioners we recognize and creatively balance all three aspects of power. As individuals, we choose how we use each form of power...

Power-over
In many organizational cultures, the most prevalent form of power is power-over. When we dominate others, we have power over them or have the ability to get them do what we want. The obvious forms of power-over are violence, force, or threats, but there are much more subtle forms of power-over, including rewards. We have power over others when we hire, fire, and control salaries. Whenever we force others to submit, regardless of their wishes, we have power over them, which usually leads to submission or rebellion, neither of which contribute to empowered relationships.

Power-within
Power-within refers to the true strength associated with courage, faith, and self-discipline. Self-confidence comes from knowing ourselves intimately and being grounded in our power within.

Power-within arises from deep connections: to ourselves, to others, and to the environment. While power-over promotes fear and aggression, power-within awakens love, peace, and contentment. Reclaiming personal power is a life-sustaining process. One way to multiply our power-within is to develop power-with. When we rely on empowerment to develop power-with, we express our faith that people are able. Power-within and power-with augment each other. We experience exhilaration in our own unfolding and in the unfolding of others.

Power-with
Power-with reflects the ability to work with others to accomplish results through collaboration. Our ability to listen, empathize with, and understand others helps us to cooperate with others to achieve shared ends. When we have power-with, we’re aware of both our own interests and others’ interests—their feelings, hopes, and needs.

By seeking the inherent power in any relationship, the whole is greater than the parts. Synergy is achieved when we recognize every stakeholder’s interests—everyone’s needs are important. Power is inherently fragile. When people lead through power-over, they tend to hide their weaknesses, ashamed to reveal their shadow side. People who lead through power-with explore their darkness and embrace their aliveness and truth. By sharing their vulnerability, they reveal the source of their inner power—their willingness to grow and change. A power-with style of leadership recognizes every person’s unique gifts, which uplifts and inspires people, helping them to become the best they can be.

A power-over structure requires collusion; someone has to accept powerlessness. When we choose to obey absurd rules, do meaningless work, and let other people control access to resources, we accept the power-over dynamic. Oppression requires consent. But why do we consent? Usually it’s because we’re blocked from heart connection. When we armor ourselves or separate from our emotions, life energy, and deepest desires, we no longer have access to our courage, we don’t take initiative, and we disempower ourselves.

We do not have to give away our power. Instead of power-over relationships, we can intentionally create power-with relationships. In a healthy world, we hold power at the personal level and don’t have to give that control away to “experts” who tell us what to do. We aren’t so easy to control when we have deep personal awareness. Why? Because we don’t get stuck in guilt, shame, or greed when we’re aware of life-giving forces such as love, connection and collaboration. Because our energy is flowing, we don’t have to get ourselves into relationships or jobs that don’t honor life. The natural forces within empower us at the personal and global level.

How do we cultivate a power-with culture where all needs matter? Traditional problem solving usually means identifying the problem and using unilateral control to create the solution. One person makes the decision right away but without getting buy-in. As a result, the problem-solving time is short, but without buy-in, the decisions take a long time to implement.

A more efficient approach is to explore the problem in terms of interests and needs before designing a solution. Facilitated agreements take longer to create solutions but result in faster implementation time and ultimately save time overall. The process means that we “Go Slow to Go Fast.”

As sweet as it all sounds, shifting away from our familiar, habitual ways of giving away power can be a painful process. It’s not easy, but personal growth work helps us get clarity about our motives. What happens when we delve into why we choose complacency, demand our rights, or insist on being heard? The answers uncover our own hidden desires. To step into our individual power and fully honor the power of others, awareness of inner needs is vital. With that awareness we can see the humanity of people in authority roles, re-design our relationships and ensure that pleasure and fun are values that we honor on a daily basis.

Personal awareness is the key to empowering ourselves and others. Even if we have support networks that validate and foster deep change, it can take a long time to change the world through individual personal awareness. Since we work on ourselves only after our basic survival needs have been met, personal growth work tends to be a middle-class activity for people with privilege. That doesn’t mean it’s not worth doing. On the contrary, when we transform ourselves, we move into new areas of transformation and create environments where everyone has power.

About the author:
Martha Lasley is a founder of Coaching for Transformation, an accredited coach training program. She creates results-oriented programs that inspire, motivate, and transform. “I surround myself with people who take risks and look for new ways of doing things; we explore both the solid ground and the edges of transformation."


Coaching is life-changing, world-changing work. The coaching programs at Leadership that Works go beyond theories and models and work with clients on a deeper level. You learn how to coach the whole person: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. Whole person Transformation.

Leadership that Works

Transforming the world.
One heart at a time.

More articles from Coaching for Transformation

More personal development articles at the Counterpoint Article Library

From our extensive site, you'll find good info on many topics using this search:

Looking for a better life?

Trans4mind Training is our series of online, interactive video workshops. We present the most effective methods of holistic personal development, combined with support from expert life coaches.
The human heart made visible.

Support your personal development with these popular and effective hypnosis downloads...

  • Public Speaking Fear ~ Banish speaking anxiety and nerves with hypnosis.
  • Motivate Yourself to Exercise ~ Build a powerful exercise habit that you can't break.
  • Get Rid of Fear & Anxiety ~ Stop worry and apprehension wrecking your life.
  • Self Esteem ~ Break the negative trance of low self esteem and give yourself a chance in life.
  • Create Your Own Reality ~ Use the power of your unconscious mind to transform your life.
  • Deeper Self Respect ~ Use hypnosis to connect with your true inner worth.
  • Detach From Fear ~ Tune out nervousness and anxiety with hypnosis.
  • Improving Concentration and Focus ~ Learn how to discipline, direct and command your mind to improve your performance.
  • Exercise Motivation ~ Give you powerful keys to getting back on track with your exercise - and staying there.
  • Overcoming Shyness ~ Provides an invisible security blanket allowing you to develop social ease and overcome shyness.
  • Quick Confidence Booster ~ An audio hypnosis session that's specifically designed to get you (quickly!) back on track.
  • Stop Negative Thoughts ~ Learn powerful hypnotic techniques to stop negative thoughts before they start.
  • Overcoming Procrastination ~ Let hypnosis help you get on with what you need to do, when you need to do it. Let nothing hold you back.
  • Think Thin ~ Use hypnosis to re-train your brain and lose weight naturally... that's how to get and stay slim.
  • Fall Asleep Fast ~ Relearn how to fall asleep fast and enjoy a good night's sleep.
  • The Next Level ~ Designed to radically boost your performance in any field. It's based on a technique used by top athletes and other successful people to help them make a big stride forward.
This is our selection of favorites, but there's a session for every need! Choose from over 800 Hypnosis Downloads...
Search now on an issue that interests or concerns you...
 
Get a free Hypnosis Download at Facebook

Welcome to the New Wave in Meditation Technology

Click here to learn more about the iAwake Profound Meditation Program
The iAwake Profound Meditation Program is a way of enhancing your meditation practice, making meditation not only easier and more enjoyable, but also more efficient and effective.
Profound Meditation provides the smoothest, deepest, richest, most profound meditation experience available anywhere...
Here is a link to a free 20-minute track from iAwake Technologies - a sample of the type of tools that will deepen your meditation immediately and help you quickly become a successful meditator. It's the opening track of iAwake's flagship product, the Profound Meditation Program, called the iAwake Experience...
Learn More and Download the iAwake Experience
I think you'll find this technology a tremendous aid on your transformative journey of becoming your best and most creative self - and you can get started today!
Copyright © 1997-2016 Trans4mind Ltd
F
R
E
E

H
E
L
P