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Types of Power, Essay Example

Pages: 2

Words: 602

Essay

The videos taught me that there is not only one type of power but five types of powers which are referent power, reward power, legitimate power, coercive power, and expert power. Referent power is the one which is due to one’s personal reputation which is the product of mostly positive characteristics such as attractiveness, integrity, and credibility. Reward power results from the attractiveness of a particular incentive to the individual. In other words, reward power doesn’t exist if the person in question doesn’t find the reward appealing. Legitimate power stems from one’s rank or formal position within an organization, and coercive power comes from one’s ability to punish or reward. The expert power comes from one’s knowledge or expertise or maybe even experience. I also learnt that referent power and expert power are usually informal powers that are mostly due to personal traits. Other powers may or may not be informal, depending upon the situation. A leader within an organization has coercive powers due to his/her formal rank but parents also exercise coercive power over toddlers.

The power I find most attractive are the referent and expert powers because I believe these powers ensure good working relationship between the two parties and also result in trust and open communication. These powers may also allow the person to motivate others to go beyond their basic responsibilities to fulfill the objective. I believe I have referent power and I use it upon those with whom I have good relationship, based on trust and mutual respect. I am a huge believer in the idea that one’s personal reputation is extremely difficult to build and even more difficult to repair once its harmed. This is why I try to be honest and straight forward with those whose relationship I treasure and as a result, they have developed trust in me.

I use referent power in situations where I may be trying to guide someone and/or persuading the other person to support my plans. I use it on my friends, cousins, and co-workers at the job. This power is especially helpful when one of my friends or cousins may have a difficult relationship with his/her family and communication is almost non-existent between them. In such circumstances, I use my referent power to win my friend’s or cousin’s confidence and make them understand the view point of their families. My referent power allows me to convince them to listen to and understand other point of views as well.

There are several ways I can improve different types of power mentioned in the videos. I can improve referent power by being regular, organized, and a top performer at the workplace. Similarly, I can increase my expert power by continuously improving my knowledge, skills, and experiences. I can also increase my expert powers by giving consistently high performance at tasks assigned to me. As far as reward power is concerned, I can increase it by learning more about other people and what motivates them. By having a better understanding of other people’s preferences, I will be able to design reward packages that appeal to them and motivate them to work harder and give above-average performance.

As far as legitimate and coercive powers are concerned, I can increase them by moving up the organizational hierarchy and/or gaining leadership positions but I prefer other three types of power more and will use them more often. I believe the types of power which do not make the followers feel threatened are more effective and while legitimate and coercive powers can ensure compliance, they may not be able to persuade the  followers to go beyond their basic responsibilities.

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