Empowerment - It starts with you

Carolyn Taylor

What does the role of empowerment mean for us and what does it takes to actually claim and reclaim that sense of power inside of oneself? The answer is that it starts with you - wherever you sit inside of your organisation’s ecosystem.

I have found people who are CEOs who feel powerless in relation to their boards. I've heard customers say that they feel powerless in relation to suppliers and suppliers and feel powerless in relation to their clients. Middle management feel powerless sometimes in relation to their boss or region will feel powerless in relation to head office.

All of us, whoever we are, have parts of our life at work, and outside of work, where we don't feel empowered, where we don't feel that we have that mandate or that license to act and where we start to feel passive. We start to give up.

To take your first steps into understanding the places and situations where you really feel empowered, where you feel like you have granted yourself the mandate and the license to act and to act well and other places where you feel disempowered. Now, they may be certain relationships. It may be certain situations. Maybe as a citizen, you feel empowered or not empowered within the society. Maybe it's a relationship you have with a particular client or a supplier. Maybe it's your relationship with head office or your relationship with your direct boss.

Ask yourself these key questions that are some of the things that you can do to feel empowered:

  • What happens inside of you for that to occur?
  • What were the external circumstances?
  • What are the internal circumstances?
  • Is there a pattern of thinking that gets triggered when you lose power, where you don’t feel empowered as an individual anymore?

By asking yourself these questions, you will find the things that make it easy for you to be empowered and to get stronger and stronger on those. Don't waste energy on the things that you have or feel you have no influence on where you feel that you are out of control and just worried. This isn’t a quick win, this is a long-term exercise, but it is an exercise that will help you cut out or avoid or make plans to replace those people or circumstances which continually trigger in you that sense of disempowerment. And when that happens, your circle of influence and control will get bigger, resulting in you becoming a more empowered person.

The content of this article originally was featured in Carolyn Taylor's Walking Your Talk podcast.

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