“How to rise to the top without losing the virtues that get you there,” here is an interesting question based on a research by Datcher Kelter, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, and faculty director of the Greater Good Science Center.
I am amazed to share this content with you. Professor Kelter called it the “Power Paradox.”
Some people, before they gain power, exhibit values such as the following: empathy, collaboration, fairness, openness. But, as soon as they enjoy a position of leadership and privilege, they become more rude, selfish.
Kelter stated that “those at higher position are more likely to interrupt co-workers, multitask during meetings, raise their voice.
He said that his research has shown that “power puts us in something like a manic state- making us feel expansible, omnipotent.”
Professionals can avoid this behavior by being more attentive to their own feelings, and to the feelings of others.
The author focuses on three essential practices to break this pattern. He mentioned: empathy, gratitude, and generosity to sustain benevolent leadership.
To practice Empathy:
.- Ask questions in every interaction, and paraphrase important points others make
.- Listen with gusto. Orient your body and eyes toward the person speaking
.- Avoid rushing to judgement and advice. Signal concerns : I’m sorry to hear this.”
To practice Gratitude:
._ Send thoughtful thank-yous, emails, notes for job well done
.- Acknowledge publicly the value of each team member
.- Celebrate success
To practice Generosity:
.- Spend one on one time with those you lead
.- Give praise
You can outsmart the Power Paradox by practicing the ethics of empathy, gratitude, and generosity. It will bring you the best work and collaborative spirit of those around you.
I invite you to dig deeper by reading the original article “Don’t let Power corrupt you,” published by Professor Datchner Keltner.