Your Attitude Toward Power

We all have attitudes.  An attitude is defined as a settled way of thinking or feeling about someone or something, typically one that is reflected in a person’s behavior.  In this article we are focusing on your attitude toward power.  How does your attitude toward power affect how you work in your job in health care?

Various Attitudes Toward Power

It may be difficult to look at how you personally feel about power and how this affects how you function in your job.  I do think it is important that you do this so that you can change how you do your job.

The two major attitudes can probably be a positive attitude or a negative attitude toward power.  One may see power as positive and as a way to work toward where you want to be.  Power can push you ahead to reach the goal that you want to reach.  People that are in a possition of power can help those that are not where they want to be yet to get ahead.  If the CEO or if your supervisor likes you and your work ethics he probably will do what he can to help you acheive your goals.  Teachers usually are not thought of as someone with power, but in a sense he does have some power and ability to mentor and help you and push you ahead to get where you want to go educationally, anyway.  Usually if one has a positive attitude toward power he works hard to move forward to a position of power and does not work against those that are in power and cooperates with that person.  

If, on the other hand he has a negative attitude toward power, he probably does not cooperate and work with the person in power to move ahead.  He kind of sabotages his own situation.  Usually he argues with and gives the person with power a hard time.  Obviously if this happens, the supervisor or CEO does not go out of his way to help this person move ahead.  Even teachers do not go out of their way to help the student if the student has a negative attitude toward power.  

He may have such a negative attitude toward power that he ends up hating power and the person in power.  He may be jealous of this person.  I am sure that we have all heard or said ourselves, something like “who does he think he is.  He thinks he is better than the rest us”.  Certainly if he feels like this, it becomes obvious and the supervisor is not going to go out of his way to help him. 

People may be fearful of power, either of the power for themselves or for the people already with power.  For many reasons a person may be afraid of succeeding or having power and sabotages himself in getting there.  He may be afraid of people that are in power and behaves in ways that don’t make the supervisor want to go out of his way to help him.  

Control Issues And Power

Now, lets look at this from a different perspective.  Sometimes it is the manager that has the issue with power.  I am sure we have all had experience with this, too.  Again there are a couple of ways of looking at the manager that is in power.  It depends partly on how he sees himself.  I am sure that we all have had the manager where power has gone to his head.  He forgets that he was once the staff member or more bluntly the “peon”,  Once he becomes management he does think he is better than those that he is supervising.  In this case, it is warrented to wonder who he thinks he is.  These supervisors are usually hated and not revered at all.  The staff has the right to feel negatively toward him.

Not all supervisors feel this way toward power.  They are just who they have always been and tries to be fair and treat their staff with respect and try to help if they can.  They want to make a difference in the worker’s lives and make the situation better for all of them  These managers are usually  seen in a positive light, which helps the staff member see power in a more positive way, too.

How Does One’s Attitude About Power Affect One’s Work 

Sometimes, one’s attitude toward power is related to how he feels about himself.  If he feels powerless and like he will never have any power, he develops this attitude of negativity toward anyone in power because it makes him feel better about himself.  In conjunction with this, sometimes when managers feel powerless and bad about themselves they develop an attitude that makes them think that they have power and are better than others.  It’s a lethal combination to be in a situation where both of these things exist. 

Last week the family member of mine came home from work and was so angry with a staff member that she could not even discuss the problem with the staff member that was involved.  She actually made the decision to wait until morning to talk with her.  Apparently this staff member emailed or texted something very negative about the supervisor and the staff member was refusing to follow the new changes that had been made.  This supervisor just recently became supervisor and she had made some changes which is not unusual when a new person takes over.

Anyway, after talking about the incident with her, and technically using the problem solving method, it was discovered that the real issue is that the staff member is quite a bit older than the new supervisor and had a lot of seniority over the new manager.  The staff member is so angry that the new supervisor got the job (even though she did not apply for the position), she  can not function.  When they talked she said this and said that she was not going to take orders from someone younger that she is and that has been there a lot longer.  This is the real issue that now needs to be adressed.  This shows how important it is to sort out the issue first and that it can not be effectively until real problem is discovered. 

Anyway, one’s attitude does affect how one functions in the workplace.  Negativity definitely makes it very difficult for both the staff member and the manager to work.   

How Does One Work With Attitudes Toward Power?

I think that the example above points out how important people sit down and sort out why the person feels the way he does.  What is the real issue?  Then one can work on a solution.  Maybe the person needs to find another position or maybe he need to accept that he feels this way and then make a decision.  If he does not change problems are going to continue and probably get worse.  

If the person with the issue thinks that he can not work it out, there is another possibility.  That possibility gives the person complete power.  I am talking about starting one’s own business.  You are in charge.  You do have the power.  I am not saying this is THE answer, but it  is   a solution.  

Wealthy Affiliates is a company that teaches one how to make a website to start their own business.  It takes you step by step how to do this and then how to market it once you have it ready to go.  It provides  a great support system and answers questions if you have any.  The price is definitely reasonable and a great feature is that it is free for 7 days with much of what is offered to premium members.  It is one of the best systems to learn to do this.

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The first thing that one has to do is recognize how he feels toward power.  Once this is done, then the problem needs to defined and then possible changes need to be tried.  Nothing is impossible.  It will make it much easier to work together if one has a more positive attitude.  Negativity is not the ideal.  Supervisiors need to recognize the different attitudes as well.

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