'Power' is the capacity or ability to affect something or someone.
'Influence' is the use of power to achieve the desired effect.
Power can come from many sources, such as:
- Job Seniority
- Technical Expertise
- Control of resources
- Responsibility for appraisal
- Gatekeeping (controlling access to people)
- Control of rewards (and/or punishments)
- Personal friend of a senior manager
- Personal praise
- Wide network of contacts
Levels of Power
As a project manager, it can be helpful for you to look at power in three areas:
The weakest form of power is making a decision. A stronger form of power is asking the questions or setting the agenda. The strongest form of power is control over the environment.
If you try to make all the decisions then your influence will be limited. You should aim to have as much control over the environment as is possible and delegate decision-making.
The next article in this online course is: Project Management Training:
Soft Skills Part 7: Delegation