Today, Kelly Ripa, the co-host of an ABC morning show stood up for the importance of respect in the workplace and earned a well-needed apology from her bosses for not letting her know sooner of her co-host’s departure. The situation could be any. What matters is that a woman used her power to take action to right a wrong that she had experienced. This will be a well-televised example, but it leads to the question: Female Leaders: Are you giving away your power in the workplace?
Sometimes, we look at power as a dirty word and give it up rather than exercise it. We’d rather not rock the boat. But, power is essential to leadership, not the command and control type, but the definition of power that propels us forward in our careers, that allows us to take our seat at the table, fully confident that we belong there. So here are three questions to ask yourself about your own sense of power and whether you may be giving it up:
Have you hesitated from taking on a new opportunity because you felt you weren’t competent or confident enough?
Are you using language that limits rather than expands your power and confidence? Words like “I should”, “I guess,” “I’m sorry”.
Do you “hide” in your office or department, giving away opportunities to take on a broader or more strategic company role?
Use these questions as a monthly check to get in touch with the way you exercise power and what constrains you back from using your power.