What is Power?

What is Power?

The Four Types of Power

Every time I ask a group of people (usually at a Right Use of Power training) the question;

“What is power?”

I get a wide range of responses. Money. Influence. Force. Love. Energy. Privilege. We usually fill up a whiteboard quite quickly with a wide variety of ideas, synonyms and perspectives on what “power” actually is, and how we can define it.

Watch this short video as I describe what power is, and the four different types.

Up and Down Power

If you’ve ever been in a “power struggle” with someone (typically your child!), you’ll be well acquainted with the power differential. The ability to influence or affect change is dependent on how much power you have in the context or in the relationship that you’re in.

In the Right Use of Power framework, this difference in power is referred to as either UP or DOWN power, depending on one’s position. I break it down some more in this short video, though the impact of up and down power, or the power differential is substantial and worth exploring in more depth.

To learn more, check out the Right Use of Power Institute, or drop me a note and we can chat about Right Use of Power training for your team!

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Jeff Couillard


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Pablo RomeroBrandNu Concepts
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Colleen HendersonPresident, Perfect Pitch Consulting
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Lisa AlmondHuman Resources, Town of Cochrane
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