How to Gain Power at Work
Key to identifying the source of your power is to recognize that there’s more than one kind. Check out these seven different types of workplace power:
1. Power based on who you know. If you have good interpersonal skills and strong networks, you have power. You are a connector, knowing who to introduce to whom, and you are a resource, knowing where to go for advice and help. This is a power that can grow exponentially, because the more people you know, the more people will want to know you.
2. Power based on what you know. A very solid way to earn respect and influence at work is to be expert in something. The most knowledgeable and competent person in the workplace—the one who knows how things work and how to fix them when they don’t—is a very powerful person.
3. Power based on love. Do people want to be with you and do things for you just because they like you? This is one of the most powerful sources of power. It’s called “referent” power. Referent power is a big responsibility because it’s based on charisma and charisma is usually inborn—you didn’t do anything to earn it and you may even start to think you deserve it. But if you combine it with, say, expertise power, it can take you far…