Power is the ability to exert pressure on others to achieve what one desires while influence is the ability to induce others to follow one’s directions or rules. In 1959, French and Raven developed a model describing the five forms of power, which lead to subsequent influence on others at work place. Personally, I have different tactics, which enable me to gain power and influence at my work place.
The first tactic is to strive and gain popularity within my work place, which enables me to have good personal relationship with colleagues including the management. The ability to promote cooperation, honesty, sincerity and avoid conflicts within my organization gives me an upper hand in becoming popular.
Additionally, when my boss gives me assignments, I carry them out thoroughly to avoid dissatisfaction before effectively communicating the results. However, incase of corrections I do not brood over them; no, I take them positively with a determination to gain favor from the head, which may lead to promotion.
The second tactic is the ability to possess expertise in line with my profession or work. When other people or colleagues are failing, I endeavor to excel in tough areas through boosting the skills and knowledge that I possess. Excellence and high qualification may lead to rewards in the work place, which may be in form of power or money.
Promotions and other rewards especially in monetary form give me a chance to control others at the work place. Besides excellence, skills and expertise lead to collaboration (networking) to form companies, organizations or gain employment in a higher office, thus giving me ownership or a leadership position at work place. Likewise, the description of rewards power by French and Raven is in line with my second tactic.
Currently, innovation is one of the unique characteristics that enable me to possess power. Most companies or employers are happy when their employees initiate a profitable project. The reward is through promotion, money or praises before others leading to popularity.
In addition, the possession of personal traits like creativity and unique skills gives me an opportunity to contribute in workshops, conference or settle problems at my work place. Therefore, incase of any trouble most of my colleagues approach me for consultation, a fact that enables me to gain power and influence.
Finally, the urge to be in a better position or look up to my leaders as my role models compels me to work hard and be like them. French and Raven posit, “Referent power gives ability to achieve personal goals and fame” (1960, p.609). The main force or encouragement is the compulsion to fit in a higher social class or group in the work place.
In summary, I apply two forms of power found in French and Raven’s model. The referent and reward powers, which encourage me to work hard and gain fame at work place. In addition, innovation, excellence, cooperation, expertise and proficiency are some of the aspects that enable me to have power and influence at work place.
Finally, the urge to achieve my personal goals especially in my profession places me in a good position to achieve power and popularity. Additionally, the obsession to fit in a better social group encourages me to work hard and gain power and influence.
French, P., & Raven, B. (1960). The bases of social power. In D. Cartwright & A.
Zander (eds.), Group dynamics (pp. 607-623). New York: Harper and Row.