Balancing power

“As a result of my hard work, determination and focus, I have been very successful in my job. However, my peers are jealous of my success and consequently say and do things that are unfair, causing me undue stress.

Success and the suit of envy that accompany it can be a heavy burden. Once the balance of power is tipped in your favor, jealousy and resentment from those in weaker positions will be inevitable. If you hope to stay on top, these are new battles that you must learn to manage and balance together with your success.

  • Don’t underestimate the power of others. Your newfound success may send your rivals into combat alert. Your promotion was their wake-up call – now they are out to prove that they are just as good or better than you, and they may even use sabotage to achieve this outcome. Therefore, get off your pedestal, as power is in the eye of the beholder. Resources are only one way of defining power. Keep your position by also building strong win/win relationships with the team, the client, the boss, and your rivals.
  • Don’t overestimate the information that you possess. Research has shown that successful negotiators may become overconfident, thus gathering less information and using analysis less for negotiations than their weaker counterparts. Therefore, avoid becoming the next Goliath and prepare more, not less. Never assume that you have unassailable information.
  • You are not invincible. Don’t ignore your teammates’ possible animosity toward you. Keep your enemies close, gauge their behaviors and respond by overwhelming all parties involved with clear, objective data that speaks for itself.
  • Your success may encourage fierce competition. The stronger you become, the more it will incite a forceful response from weaker rivals. When situations turn to a dog-eat-dog scenario, avoid direct battles and seek out a mitigating party within or outside your organization whose interests are aligned with yours. Coordinate with this person to provide a rational voice in support of your proposed solution without reference to you and your ideas.

Article prepared by Renée LeMoine, Executive Director, LeMoine & Associates


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