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Diffusing Defensiveness – Preventing Power Struggles for Oneness!

SERIES: Part Three of a Four-Part Article
It’s all about egos, competitiveness, saving face, and not being seen as the one having to make a concession that leads to a need to win at any cost!
Many times it is this cost of power struggles that, in the final accounting, leads to significant loss of true gains and wins for the greater whole because individuals get caught up in the minutia of petty struggles. And from there, a pattern develops whereby struggles become the norm. Many studies indicate that men experience these struggles due to a need to be above others in a position of power and influence. For women, these struggles are often caused by the need to be the center of influence and acceptance.
Individuals must rise above the need for power struggles and finesse energies and individuals together for a sense of “oneness” that will allow true greatness to be attained and experienced by all!
For leadership success in the home and workplace, here are ten ways to create “oneness” in the face of a “power struggle”:

1. Enlarge the final solution to incorporate aspects from all players’ desires, versus an either/or option (you versus me’ism). 
2. Invite plurality of suggestions, versus a this-or-that mentality. From these multiple ideas before implementation, one can gain better perspectives and better final resolutions. 
3. Avoid the first person language (I, you, think, but, however) that tends to inflame interactions and induce additional defensive postures among individuals. 
4. Increase the use of inclusion language (we, us, team, feel, other ideas) that brings people together and makes it more difficult for an individual to create a divisive climate. 
5. Share credit and glory liberally. While in the presence of others and success, make sure the credit and rewards are publicly experienced by all appropriate individuals. 
6. Document heavily when you know you are in the presence of those that tend toward power struggles. For example, in the initial stages of a project launch, send an e-mail, letter, voicemail message, etc.) to all participants about the agreed- upon action plan.  Note who specifically owns each piece of that project and send corresponding copies to supervisors and any other influencers that can encourage “oneness” actions. 
7. Disengage and walk away gracefully if you determine your participation, input, or opinion will not have a “significant” influence on the outcome. Many power struggles grow out of individual’s desire for their action plan to be “the” action plan. 
8. Involve a valued and respected elder as the leader of an issue that may lean toward defensive behavior. Let him or her either lead or council you as to exact action plans – and listen! 
9. Break down decision-making responsibility among multiple individuals to avoid any one individual becoming too important or developing an over-inflated view of their net worth to the overall “oneness” of the team. 
10. Limit volatile individuals’ exposure to issues and other individuals that ignite defensive behaviors. 
The ability to tactically engage others in the face of impending power implosions and redirect potential negative and destructive energies toward a greater positive outcome is the mark of a true leader in today’s workplace.

How do you prevent power struggles at your workplace?

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