In any leadership dynamic, there is a dominant impression that is made between the leader and those who report to that leader, either directly or indirectly. A leader can sometimes be a force that appears to be larger than life and frankly, intimidating. The question every leader should be asking is, “Are perceptions of power important to understand?” The answer to this question is a resounding yes, and should be heavily considered in a leader’s vision for a company.
At any given moment, a workplace has five different power dynamics in the workplace:
Although each of these dynamics may be present in the workplace and be employed from time to time, either individually or in tandem with one another, each also has a prescribed pratfall if not used properly or in moderation. Using any one of these dynamics improperly can lead to a lag in motivation and can decrease productivity in the workplace.
Regardless of the leadership’s thoughts on how a business should be run, leaders should also understand that perception is just as important, if not more so than delivery. If an employee has expectations that do not align with either the leader’s vision or that of the team, it can have a domino effect on the productivity.
Are perceptions of power important to understand? Yes, and so are the dynamics of power and becoming an effective leader. Regardless of the leadership style used, these perceptions shape the way in which a company runs.