What are your strategies for navigating power sharing?

Navigating power sharing involves several strategies that can be distilled from the insights provided by Ed Batista:

  1. Learning to Yield: Power sharing requires the ability to find the right balance between deference and assertiveness. In the context of power sharing, yielding means slowing down to assess the situation, similar to yielding at a traffic sign, and determining the appropriate level of influence or control to exert. It's not about capitulating or avoiding conflict but about engaging in a mindful approach to interactions, especially in potentially contentious conversations. [Learning to Yield (Navigating Tough Conversations)]

  2. Managing Emotions: Effective power sharing also depends on the leader's ability to manage their own emotions. Leaders need to be self-aware and capable of regulating their emotions to avoid acting impulsively, especially under a sense of urgency. This includes being comfortable with the discomfort that may arise when ceding decision-making authority and committing to a consistent process even when outcomes are not as expected. [Leadership, Decision-Making and Emotion Management]

  3. Creating Psychological Safety: Establishing a psychologically safe environment is crucial for power sharing. Leaders should encourage input, ensure team members feel heard, and respond appreciatively to all contributions, particularly unwelcome news. This involves being candid and open, asking hard questions, and being direct without fear of embarrassment or punishment. [Rules Aren't Norms (On Better Meeting Hygiene)]

  4. Utilizing Delegation Frameworks: Jurgen Appelo's "7 Levels of Delegation" is a tool that can help leaders determine how to allocate authority and decision-making power effectively between themselves and their team. This requires leaders to understand and address any discomfort or resistance they might feel toward decentralized decision-making. [Leadership, Decision-Making and Emotion Management]

  5. Reframing Power Dynamics: Challenging common beliefs about power can help in navigating power sharing. Recognizing that power is not solely determined by external factors, that our subjective view is not the same as objective reality, and that power is not always a limited resource can change one's perspective on their sense of power and agency. This can facilitate a more collaborative approach to power sharing. [The Difficulty of Empathizing Up]

  6. Encouraging Mutual Esteem and Accountability: Fostering mutual respect and a sense of closeness among team members can contribute to a culture of psychological safety, which is a prerequisite for effective power sharing. When people trust that their colleagues will speak the truth empathetically, it creates an environment conducive to candid discussions about roles, responsibilities, and power dynamics. [Rules Aren't Norms (On Better Meeting Hygiene)]

By combining these strategies, leaders can navigate power sharing in a way that fosters collaboration, trust, and effective decision-making within their teams and organizations.