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Appropriate use of Power

'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
  • Information
  • 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
  • Skills
  • 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
Project Management Training: Soft Skills Tools

Project Management Training



Trust and Rapport


Winning Commitment


Using Power



Small Teams

Group Conflicts

Team Development

Managing Difference


Team Islands

In/Out Groups

Building the wider team

Large Projects

Project Culture

Putting it all together

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©2013 Team Technology. Further articles/resources that may be of interest include: Personality Test, Personality Type Descriptions, Myers Briggs overview, The Basics of Team Building, What Career is Right for Me?, and Career ideas.