Powerful people are more likely than others to engage in rude, selfish, unethical behavior. This is called the Power Paradox, which means that people rise on their good qualities, but their behaviors worsens as they move up the ladder. The consequences can include tarnished reputation, undermining opportunities for influence, stress and anxiety among colleagues, and dragging down employees’ engagement morale.
How do you avoid the Power Paradox?
- Reflect on your feelings, and your feelings about others in the Agency.
- Practice graciousness by making thank you notes as part as part of your communication.
- Send timely emails to colleagues on a job well done.
- Publically acknowledge the value that each person contributes to the team.
- Seek opportunities to have one on one time with the people you lead.
- Delegate some important and high-level responsibilities.
- Give praise generously.
- Share the limelight. Give credit to all who contribute to the success of your team and organization.
You can outsmart the power of power paradox by practicing the ethics of empathy, gratitude, and generosity. It will bring out the best work and collaborative spirit of those around you. You will benefit from the dopamine-rich delights of advancing the interests of others.
Cite: Dacher Keltner, Harvard Business Review.