We live in a world where knowledge is power, hierarchy is power, money is power, being the boss is power, this is a misunderstanding of what power is. To Empower is to be an equal and it is where real magic and creativity happens. This is shifting from being a helper, a knower, a teller to a supporter, a learner, an asker, a guide to enable others to find the answers for themselves. It works from a place of strength.
In the interactions you have today how much are you providing direction, telling others what to do vs asking questions that help others find the answers?
How many of the questions you ask, are leading questions to get the answer you want to hear?
We all do this and it is so habitual. Being the answer giver feels great, you feel valued but it creates a dependence on you and does not allow someone to use their own strengths to find out. The helper done in this way can unintentionally disempower.
Empowerment is a place of equals, a dynamic that is reciprocal, it creates flow and you come away feeling like you both have given and received. I am sure you all have examples of this and how freeing and connecting it feels.
I felt this level of empowerment this week with someone I work for but it always feels like I work with him. This subtly of working for vs with is also a shift to empowerment and it makes a huge difference in building trust and allowing space to be more fully you. From this place, you are more open to sharing ideas, perspectives and your insecurities. This is a place you can work together to become all you are meant to be.
If we could make this shift I think all our relationships would feel more connected vs competitive, close vs distant, we would trust each other more and care for each other more.
It would create the true meaning of teamwork vs teams that just do work.
Let's learn and practice treating each other as equals because at the end of the day behind the titles and facade we are just human beings doing the best we can.