How to Win Power Games and Influence People – Top 3 Tips for Profesional Women

office-power-games

Everyone wants power! However, the question to ask yourself is- what exactly is real power? Is it getting what you want or does it lie in exerting such an influence that people follow you on their own free will? Doesn’t the latter situation sound like a better place to be in? So, in effect, power really is about influencing people and winning them over.

Power games are played everyday in every work place. Whether its professional confrontations, board meetings, brain storming sessions or even unofficial team meetings. At the end of the day, it’s all about gaining more power and influence.

How to play and win the power games?

 

Women in Leadership
‘Objective’ discussions- The key to grabbing power is that it should seem as if you weren’t seeking it in the first place, especially during confrontations. Let’s take this situation for example- You and a manager at your level do not see eye to eye on a certain policy issue. Now, one way to confront this situation is to go out guns blazing and convince everyone who matters, that your views make more sense.  Chances are that the other person will attack you too and it will lead to an intensely fought battle.

The second option is to approach the other person and insist that you discuss your differences of opinion. The ‘pro and con’ list will prove to be an effective tool in this case. The idea is to discuss your views and list most of what you say under ‘pros’ and majority of what the other person says under cons. Make a few lame arguments yourself to give them a chance to place your views on the con side too. Your agenda should be to make the discussion seem open minded and balanced while you subtly push your points forward. This technique (to influence your competitor) will work depending on how well you can act and how persuasive you are.

Always start with “Yes and”- When you shoot down other people’s ideas brusquely you may come across as opinionated or obnoxious. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you have to agree with your colleagues on everything. You can, in fact, start with agreeing and appreciating what they have said and then put across your points to suggest why it isn’t yet time for their great idea. This is the art of subtly exerting your power and influence.

Form friendships with care- Friendships at the work place can be rather tricky. Remember as you rise to power you are likely to ruffle quite a few feathers.  This is where your work friends come into play.  Associating with the wrong people (i.e. those who are known to gossip, have a track record of malicious behavior and/or are known for their loose tongues) may backfire on you.  Ideally, you should keep your cards close and stay far away from office politics.

Agreed playing and winning power games does involve some degree of stealth and manipulation. But if at the end of the day your conscience is clear, you have nothing to worry about.

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