Power and influence are potentially strong emotional issues. Depending on how used and interpreted, they can grow or diminish a person. My concern is that those in power work to empower those they lead so that “growth” is one’s chosen path, creating a sense of ownership and improved participation. Compare this to people being treated as things and feeling like pawns; where are the benefits? Note that how one feels influences behavior. To believe “feelings” have nothing or little to do with relationships is to miss much of what brings and holds people together. Through research and “hands-on work,” I have learned that “communication is clearly the problem to the answers we seek between us.” And that when we respect and give time to understanding each other’s thoughts and feelings, the likelihood of a positive and productive relationship increases. Those that use their power wisely know that feelings have much to do with people’s behavior.
Another issue for those in power is that when they use this power and influence to satisfy their own needs, they assume agreement is unnecessary when it is essential to the contract. People are not things to be used as parts of a machine while treating agreement as unimportant influences. This negative attitude harms the relationship and the job to be done. The leader that listens, understands, and confirms their followers and seriously seeks what is felt about their relationship and discussion wins—as does the follower. Powerful people that nurture good feelings in those they lead will also share the benefits.
We are what we inherit, but I believe that we are mostly what we experience. Our behavior is a result of one, the other, or a mix of the two. Which predominates may depend on a third force, and that is the powers that rule our life.