Guidelines on Building and Using Power

Report
GUIDELINES ON BUILDING
AND USING POWER
Source: Yukl (1998)
Legitimate Power:
How to Increase and Maintain Power
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Gain more formal authority
Use symbols of authority
Get people to acknowledge authority
Exercise authority regularly
Follower proper channels in giving orders
Back up authority with reward and coercive power
Legitimate Power:
How to Use Power Effectively
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Make polite, clear requests
Explain the reasons for a request
Don’t exceed your scope of authority
Verify authority if necessary
Be sensitive to target concerns
Follow up to verify compliance
Insist on compliance if appropriate
Reward Power:
How to Increase and Maintain Power
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Discover what people need and want
Gain more control over rewards
Ensure people you know control rewards
Don’t promise more than you can deliver
Don’t use rewards in a manipulative way
Avoid complex, mechanical incentives
Don’t use rewards for personal benefit
Reward Power:
How to Use Power Effectively
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Offer desirable rewards
Offer fair and ethical rewards
Explain criteria for giving rewards
Provide rewards as promised
Use rewards symbolically to reinforce desirable
behavior
Expert Power:
How to Increase and Maintain Power
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Gain more relevant knowledge
Keep informed about technical matters
Develop exclusive sources of information
Use symbols to verify expertise
Demonstrate competence by solving difficult
problems
Don’t make rash, careless statements
Don’t lie or misrepresent the facts
Don’t keep changing positions
Expert Power:
How to Use Power Effectively
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Explain the reasons for a request or proposal
Explain why a request is important
Provide evidence that a proposal will be successful
Listen seriously to target concerns
Show respect for target (don’t be arrogant)
Act confident and decisive in a crisis
Referent Power:
How to Increase and Maintain Power
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Show acceptance and positive regard
Act supportive and helpful
Don’t manipulate and exploit people for personal
advantage
Defend someone’s interests and back them up when
appropriate
Keep promises
Make self-sacrifices to show concern
Use sincere forms of ingratiation
Referent Power:
How to Use Power Effectively
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Use personal appeals when necessary
Indicate that a request is important to you
Don’t ask for a personal favor that is excessive
given the relationship
Provide an example of proper behavior (role
modeling)
Coercive Power:
How to Increase and Maintain Power
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Identify credible penalties to deter unacceptable
behavior
Gain authority to use punishments
Don’t make rash threats
Don’t use coercion in a manipulative way
Use only punishments that are legitimate
Fit punishments to the infraction
Don’t use coercion for personal benefit
Coercive Power:
How to Use Power Effectively
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Inform target of rules and penalties
Give ample prior warnings
Understand situation before punishing
Remain calm and helpful, not hostile
Encourage improvement to avoid the need for
punishment
Ask target to suggest ways to improve
Administer discipline in private

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