Understanding your power persona – and how to wield it at work (2011) By Maggie Craddock To understand power at a basic level, it is important to understand the building blocks that we all draw from. There are 4 quarters at the power grid – Pleaser, Charmer, Commander, Inspirer
Pleasers are individuals who have honed their ability to make others feel good about themselves but struggle with an ongoing hunger for validation and approval.
Strengths of the Pleaser – Highly Intuitive. Likely to zero in on what each individual needs to feel special – one person at a time. – Good Listeners. Pleasers can focus their entire being on taking in what another person is trying to communicate. Having a pleaser on your task force or negotiation team can be equivalent of having a secret weapon on your side. – Hardworking – Superb Diplomats. They can tap into the emotional needs of both parties and find a way to soothe frayed feelings as well as balance competing interests at a more logical level.
Blind Spots of the Pleaser – Difficulty Advocating for themselves. Pleasers were conditioned early in life to support others while asking little for themselves. The tendency to shy away from unpleasant topics also makes Pleasers easy to pass over for promotion. – Difficulty standing up to bullies at work. Lack of assertiveness with their peers is a common problem for Pleasers. Bullies often don’t care about facts and don’t want to understand anything – they simply want what they want. The habit of avoiding conflicts can be costly. – The need for external validation – Loyal to a fault – Personalize professional criticism The first thing pleasers in transition need to do is slow down and consider how they can use a transitional point in their careers as a chance to start focusing on what they want and need. Resentment is the number one energy drain for hardworking Pleasers who have fallen into the trap of giving more than they get on a consistent basis. When pleasers give too much of themselves away, nobody wins. 1. If pleaser is boss : – you must establish clear performance standards and enforce discipline when these are not met. – Project an image of strength. (Charmers and commanders see emotional vulnerability as sign of weakness) – embrace pushback – it means your staff is thinking. When members of your team disagree with your point of view, rejoice ! – Don’t expect to be “friends” with your staff example with the Charmer Don’t indulge in lengthy personal conversations to clear up professional mishaps and use praise sparingly.
The Charmer The power style of the charmer exemplifies people who project an image that is able to both seduce and intimidate others. Charmers hide behind their images because early childhood experiences have made it difficult for them to trust others. They exude an emotional intensity that keeps everyone around them slightly anxious. Due to the emotional tone they convey, Charmers operate near the fear-based end of the y-axis.
Strengths of the Charmer
-Have a keen sense of how to influence others.
– Can produce results in whatever incentive system you create. Charmers tend to take home the largest paychecks.
– They are master problem solvers. They can often tell you bluntly what will sell or what won’t sell – and why. What’s more they are often right. Charmers on your team can be critical to your firm’s success.
– Powerful change agents.
Blind Spots of the Charmer
– They are focused on results – not process.
– Tendency to overextend themselves.
– Tend to isolate themselves. When they isolate themselves, they may miss vital feedback from others that would clue them in their behaviour that led them into danger zone.
– See emotional vulnerability as weakness.
The Commander The Commander exemplifies the power style that is most commonly associated with the military, leads of industry, and heads of state. They feel anxious about anything that might prevent them from being in charge at all times, operate near the fear-based end of the y-axis.
Strengths of the Commander
– A Strong Will to win.
– Respect for authority.
– No Nonsense, Decisive leaders.
– Self confidence
Blind Spots of the Commander
– Value system over the individual
– Intolerance and Insensitivity
– Tunnel vision
The Inspirer The Inspirer exemplifies star power in action. The natural charisma they exude in any group puts them at the formal end of the X-axs, When you have a deeper insights into the many ways power can be wielded,it can free us to operate with more agility and draw from a wider range of strategic responses at important turning points in our lives and careers. Working with the Power Grid can help to incorporate other models and tools, such as Myers-Briggs, more comprehensively. There are no good or bad quadrants. Each has its virtues and blind spots and each style has important lessons to help us all become more conscious of how power plays can work themselves out between different types of people in the workplace.
Strengths of the Inspirer
– Have charisma
– Lead by example
– Treat people as equals
Blind Spots of the Inspirer
– Politically Naïve
– Ignore details in favour of the big picture
– Risk Burnout