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The Need for Power

 

Explanations > Needs > The Need for Power

Need | Example | Related to | Discussion |  So what?

 

 

Need

We have a need for power, for the ability to act autonomously and to influence others.

Example

A manager enjoys doing performance management, where they criticize and direct their subordinates.

A young child finds they can get their older sibling into trouble by crying and pointing their finger at the other child. 

Related to

 

 

Discussion

 

Power lets us achieve our goals, often more directly than if we had lesser power. It can come from various situations, from formal position to our skill in influencing to the courage we have to go our own way. Money gives power too, as it gives us freedom and choice that we may not otherwise have.

Power gives us a sense of control. It makes us feel good to the extent we can effectively become addicted to it. It is said that power corrupts, and that absolute power corrupts absolutely. When we have power, we have less need to be friendly with others. If we go against their wishes, they cannot stop us. If we harm them, they are less able to take revenge.

Pleasure can be gained in accumulating power, holding power and using power. Accumulation and holding gives one a sense of potential, being able to use power when needed. This makes people feel superior to others. Using power signals status to others, though this must be done carefully and with due fairness if you want to retain respect.

So what?

Offer power as a result of actions you want people to achieve. Show how they will gain influence over others and be able to achieve other goals.

You can also offer your own power, for example promising to help them in various ways.

See also

Power

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