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Strategies for Building Your Personal Power

Strategies for Building Your Personal Power
Now let’s talk about the strategies for building personal power. So we’ve talked about the strategies for building structural power. So now let’s turn our attention to personal power. Remember, the three bases of power for that personal base of power, expertise, information, referent. Expertise, I’m the expert in a particular topic. Information, I have information that’s rare, valuable, that other people need and what. Referent, this is the charisma. This is the attraction that people have for you that gives you the power and the ability to influence in return. Expertise, information, referent. So how do we build this personal bases of power?
The first strategy that I wanna share with you is very similar to the strategy that we talked about with building our structural base of power. It’s to identify the key areas of expertise. Or the key areas of information. You develop that knowledge, you develop that expertise you gain access to that information, and then you make public that expertise, via credentials, symbols, and artifacts. So if it’s expert power, I have to figure out what are the areas of expertise that are important to my various stakeholders inside the organization, in my team, outside the organization. What are those key areas of expertise? I have to make sure I have those areas of expertise, that I have that knowledge.
And then once I have that expertise I have to make that expertise public. Credentials, symbols, artifacts, etc. So let me give you some examples. So for example, your business card, often times, is a form of that credential. The doctors in the world. Every doctor has an M.D. behind his or her name. That credential represents a level of expertise that has been validated. And so in your email signature, in your business card think carefully about how you communicate these credentials to then illustrate that expertise. Diploma is another example of an artifact or a communication vehicle for communicating a certain level of expertise or information that you may have that others do not have.
So when you walk into your lawyer’s office or when you walk into your doctor’s office, often times up on the wall somewhere, you will see their credentials, their degree. That is a way of communicating to people, that level of expertise. Military for example. Again, the emblems, the symbols that they wear on their uniforms communicate a certain level of achievement, in terms of their expertise.
Depending on what context you’re in, and you are all coming at this from very different backgrounds in very different settings all around the world. And so what you really have to explore and define for yourself is in my world, in my context, both my business, my organization, my team, but also culturally. Culturally what are going to be the symbols, the artifacts that I can use to communicate to other people these credentials, this level of expertise, this level of information that you have achieved? So that’s strategy one. Is to think carefully about how you communicate that expertise, make it public in a way that is credible to the people you’re trying to influence.
The second strategy is to develop your persuasion ability. Now remember you have expertise, you have information. It’s only powerful to the extent you can use that expertise or information to then persuade or influence other people. So you have to be able to develop your persuasion ability to be able to tell a story. To be able to communicate in a way that influences and persuades them with your expertise and information, and we will talk at various times throughout the leading people and team specialization about how you tell the story. How you craft your information in ways that will persuade people more effectively.
Even in this particular course, you will learn different influence tactics about how you can craft an argument, how you can shape what you communicate, what sequence you communicate. Next week, Maxim would be with you talking about different influence strategies. And he’ll talk about some of these persuasion abilities and persuasion tactics that you can use to really influence people. So I would encourage you to pay particular attention to next week’s topics as well as the other times during the course where we talked about how do you craft a story that will stick with people and really resonate with people to motivate and influence their behavior.
The third strategy is really to become a broker of information in your social or organizational network and in week three of this course Maxim will talk at length about what it means to be a broker of information in the social or organizational network. And what I mean by broker here is, you have information that is not only rare and valuable, but information that other people want. And you are the broker of that information that enables other people in the organization to connect through you. That puts you in a very powerful position and so the extent to which you can become that broker of information really enhances the degree to which you’re able to use that information base of power.
To then influence other people in your team or your organization broadly. And then the fourth is to develop your charisma. If you go all the way back to course one, in the leading people in teams specialization, you’ll recall that we talked at length about the fact that one, charisma can be learned. You can learn how to be charismatic, and we talked about various specific strategies and tactics that you can use to increase the degree to which people see you as charismatic. Those strategies enable you to leverage that referent base of power to a greater degree.
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