March 9th, 2011
I find use of referent power tends to be most effective. Using referent power not only tends to accomplish the goal, but also builds or maintains respect in the situation. Expert power can also have a similar effect, and can be used to balance a power struggle by offsetting the negative effects of coercive power. Legitimate power I would say is the most powerful, however because it’s use can come with some negative effects due to how it is derived. It is much easier on any situation to use power that can be backed by experience or past behaviors since that power is given as a result of a mutual respect from the person it is being used upon, where are other types (coercive especially) are adding tension to the situation, and the power is derived from a force that is not the target of the power. In most situations it is best to use the least “threatening” type of power to accomplish the goal. Leading others comes with several dynamic factors; one of them is the mutual respect for each other. Abusing power buy using coercive, or overusing reward and legitimate power will put more stress on the situation, and can also cause a loss of trust and respect. Understanding and recognizing the types of power used in any situation can be helpful because it will allow you to choose how to counteract the application of the power in the most effective way, which will allow for harmony among the team by minimizing the external stress’s that would be introduced by applying types of power that are unnecessary. I believe I have all types of power, however the situation really dictates which type is used. I use power as little as possible to accomplish the task needed. By taking this approach, I feel I am able to minimize as much external pressure as possible, while still accomplishing our end goals.
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