Exploring Role, Authority and Power

Having spent the last week on my development and growth, it struck me why I have been attracted to 2 very different but interrelated workshops on either side of Australia. As a facilitator, teacher and coach to many leaders, it is vital and necessary to also step back and take time to do my own self-awareness, learning and development.

My week started in Geelong, just outside Melbourne. After spending over an hour getting a hire car, I was on the road. I love driving to new places and not knowing where the journey is going to take me. In saying that, Eurocar didn’t have a navman to hire so I did ask many questions around how to get there. I don’t particularly like getting lost, like more of us but I love a new journey.

My new journeys really took me to places I didn’t think I would go. I tend to go to workshops to really learn the theory around particular areas of interest and my intent is the more knowledge I have for myself, the more knowledge I can pass onto my leaders. What I have been encountering is something quite different. In these workshops, I feel quite exposed to my own feelings, attitudes and beliefs around my role, power and authority. At times, I have felt uncomfortable and at times, quite liberated. The greatest learning a leader can have, is a learning about themselves.

The first workshop in Geelong was “Exploring Organisational Roles” by Tiffany Gray and Alchemy Road. Her work is experiential and we explored the conscious and unconscious patterns that exist within roles. We explored role dilemmas and opportunities as well as how we take up our roles in the system and context of our organisation. I am reading much around the Tavistock Institute and they influenced the organisational development arena. The work I encountered with others in the group as well as my own work in role exploration was extraordinary. What I most found enlightening was my relationship with Authority – formal and informal and how I saw authority. In turn, we looked my experiences with authority throughout my life and how today I am working with authority in my role. I have attached an interesting article on this area.

Article on Role Consultation

For the next few days I am going to be attending a Leadership Lab experiential workshop by Julie Diamond who is a leader in Process Psychology. We are focusing as leaders who we handle, think and deal with stress, power and role. One common theme so far is around how our childhood and past really do shape our beliefs and attitudes towards these areas. This is where the neuroscience area has hold stead in understanding why we react and how we handle such areas – and how we can change these attitudes and beliefs. A real a-ha moment for me was that leadership training does not explore these areas? Are we as leaders really prepared for stressful situation or around power? What we train, we do! How true is this…And I agree some of us handle these situations and emotions better than others – why is this so? How can we develop our leaders to take on their roles where they are trained to handle power and stress…something I have taken away is in a change process in my thinking around; how I will now look and reflect on own my role take up with my leaders. Julie has written a great blog on power – see below.

Julie Diamond Blog

New journeys…I would love your thoughts and feedback on how we as leaders can explore stress, authority and power with our leaders?

Thanks for reading – and look forward to your comments!

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