We all have the power needed to create and manage change within the systems (personal and organizational) of which we are members. However, many of us constrain our energy and power through antithetical belief systems. Often, we simply don’t believe that we have choices available to achieve the changes we desire. At times, our concept of what we want to change is too vague to be useful. Or, our energies are too dispersed to be effective. Regardless of the reason why not, what is needed is to empower ourselves. Unfortunately, others cannot do it for us–
though they can support us in our self-empowerment.
Here is the definition we use for empowerment: Supporting self and others toward self-discovering their inherent ability to choose their behavior, emotions, thoughts, and beliefs on behalf of fully engaging themselves toward accomplishing their personal goals and those of their systems.
General Thoughts about Making Empowerment Work
2. Find a wider range of choices beyond “damned if I do and damned if I don’t.”
3. Focus on the present rather than the past or the future.
4. Beware problem-solving. Empowerment “teaches someone to fish;” problem-solving “gives a fish.”
5. Offer suggestions only to ensure that all options are being explored.
6. Ask, “How would you find out?” when “I don’t know” statements occur.
7. Support the other person, not our own ideas, experiences, or egos.
Specific Steps to Support the Empowerment of Others
1. Clarify goals.
2. Identify what is in the way of accomplishing the goal.
3. Check that one is operating from sound and current data.
4. Identify beliefs and conflicting thoughts that may be preventing goal attainment.
5. Keep the focus on empowerment rather than the obstacles and other players.
6. Offer suggestions to choose from.
7. Identify the decisions that need to be made among the available choices.
8. Identify the support system needed.
9. Identify a path forward of concrete next steps of time and place.
10. Check to see if the person has confidence in the path forward.
11. Offer encouragement. You’re done!
Marianne Williamson’s poem speaks to the essence of empowerment.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
Learn to Make a Difference in the World of People, Teams, and Organizations http://bit.ly/zFCNfv