How to Have Authority at Work

bobUncategorized

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I recently led an organization’s leadership team through a DISC personality exercise that helped them understand each others innate differences. Next week we will talk about how they can use this information to communicate and work together more effectively.

I was reminded again of how much we humans struggle when we can’t be in control. Depending on wiring some struggle more than others, but there is a part in all of us that likes to be the one with authority – if not over others at least over our time, our decisions and our image.

Because of this, many conflicts occur due to “good ole fashioned” power struggles. People naturally want to be right. We want it to be our idea. We want to have it our way. Immature leaders HAVE to be right. They HAVE to have it be their idea. They HAVE to get their way. When they don’t, conflict and strained relationships ensue. Team effectiveness and organizational productivity suffer.

The truth is successful teamwork begins with being right relationally. A wise man named Solomon once wrote “fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions.” According to this wisdom a fool can be right and still be a fool.

Fools rarely get what they want. On the contrary, when we go the extra mile to understand those around us trust is established and effectiveness is accelerated.

This doesn’t mean we have to give up the right to be in power or to have control and authority.  In fact, every one of us should be 100% in power, authority and control at all times…. of the effectiveness of our own behavior and communication.

What if instead of needing to control circumstances you began to measure success based on how you respond to your team when circumstances don’t go your way?

What if instead of trying to control the behaviors and work of others (or passive-aggressively being silently frustrated by them) you began to find satisfaction in understanding them more?

If you’ve ever wished the people you work with were more enthusiastic about your ideas and leadership it may be time to take authority.