Observing the Locus of Power
Spend some time observing your own behaviour during conversations in all areas of your life. Do this with kindness towards yourself and others. Remember that the purpose of this exercise is to improve your understanding of Self.
See if you can spot patterns. You may like to write down transcripts of conversations after they have happened and decide the position of the locus of power.
You do not need to take any further action at this stage. Sometimes simply raising your awareness of power dynamics alone, can effect positive change.
If you want to, you can then pause and ask yourself the following questions:
“What am I seeking from this person by saying this?”
“Is this something that I can give to myself?”
You can then ask:
“What is this telling me about what my needs are in terms of developing resilience?”
This will show you where you need to work.
Here you can explore your own need for approval/permission/reassurance etc.
Are you constantly seeking approval?
Do you regularly need permission to go ahead with projects?
Are you running everything by someone else so that you do not have to take responsibility when things go wrong?
Do you regularly communicate your talents and achievements?
Do you compete with your peers?
Do you enjoy gossip?
What do you seek to gain from each interaction?
Can you give these things to yourself so that you do not need them from others?
Can you take more responsibility when interacting with others?
There are many reasons why we might shift the locus of power towards others and therefore away from the Self.
Exploring the reasons why you interact in the way that you do, will improve your understanding and lead to more conscious communication.
Power dynamics are complex. There will always be both a balance and an exchange of power in human interaction.
Sometimes we must give away some of our power for a useful interaction to take place.
The key is to raise our awareness and consciously choose what is appropriate rather than acting out of unconscious need.
Understanding and mastering our part in the ‘great dance’ of communication is both enlightening and empowering.
In fact, it is key to building resilience staying afloat in modern times.