March 31, 2018 / Articles We Like / Influencing Skills

On “Is the Confidence Gap Between Men and Women a Myth?”

When it comes to achieving power and influence in the workplace, is confidence the differentiating factor?

In a recent Harvard Business Review article, “Is the Confidence Gap Between Men and Women a Myth?,” Laura Gillen’s research has shown that while self-confidence is gender neutral, the consequences of appearing self-confident are not. According to Gillen, appearing self-confident does not translate into influence the same for men and women. She argues that organizations need to take action and adopt processes and systems that change how women are rewarded equally.

September 25, 2012 / Articles We Like / Ask Mariposa / Coaching Skills / HR / Talent Management / Influencing Skills

Ask Mariposa: Empowering Tools & Techniques


Jeremy asked:

What tools and techniques can I use to empower members of my team that I recognize are not living up to their potential?

Tawny Lees, COO responded:

There are lots of ways to tackle this challenge. First off – get curious and observant. Have candid conversations about what is working/not working for them. Observe them carefully, looking for their genius. Look for strengths that can be better leveraged and roadblocks that you can remove. A great tool that we use is StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath. Individuals and teams use it to identify talent themes and then generate specific ideas to turn these talents into strengths in action. Another great resource is the HBR article “The Power of Small Wins” by Theresa Amabile and Steven Kramer – which describes how to engage people by enabling them to make progress in meaningful work every day. Whatever resource you may use, the fundamental exercise is for you to partner with the team member to uncover specific actions to try, and then be consistent in your support and follow-up.

Share your thoughts on this response in the comments section below, and ask us anything here:

July 4, 2012 / Book Reviews / Design Thinking / Creativity / Innovation

Book Review: The Power of Thinking Differently

The Power of Thinking Differently: An imaginative guide to creativity, change, and the discovery of new ideas
By: Javy Galindo

Head: (4 of 5)
Heart: (4 of 5)
Leadership Applicability: (4 of 5)

When imagining the typical work environment today, images of burned coffee, cubicles, and computers probably come to mind. In this landscape, logic and practicality rule, not because they are necessary, but because they are the only methods by which employees, employers and everyone in between see success being reached. In The Power of Thinking Differently: An Imaginative Guide to Creativity, Change, and the Discovery of New Ideas, Javy W. Galindo redefines this idea by saying that the separation we place between creative thinking and logical thinking is unnecessary.

At the core of this book is that we need to “re-wire our brain

[s] for creative insight.” By doing this, we lead ourselves and our corporations to growth & innovation. In The Power of Thinking Differently, Galindo urges readers to forget the traditional assumption that only writers, artists, and musicians can be “creators” and instead start to realize that they themselves can be creative. Galindo promises readers strategies for finding new ideas in a pinch, and how-to’s on cultivating creativity in groups as well as ways to become more insight prone. This book’s dynamic message and humorous tone will keep readers engaged and satisfied with the applicable take-away — rekindling our childhood imagination is good for business! Buy it.
February 26, 2011 / Blog / Book Reviews

Book Review: The Elements of Power

The Elements of Power:
Lessons on Leadership and Influence
By: Terry Bacon

Head: (4 of 5)
Heart: (3.5 of 5)
Leadership Applicability: (4.5 of 5)

What exactly is power, and where does it come from? Many of us think of it as emanating from position, authority, title, or wealth, flowing only one way: downward. But in a model developed after many years of careful study and research, consultant and author Terry Bacon has presented us with the idea that positional power is only one of 11 types of power: five personal (Knowledge, Expressiveness, History, Attraction, and Character), five organizational (Role/Position, Resources, Information, Network, and Reputation, and one “meta-source”: Will.)

To lead or influence people effectively, you must have a sufficient power base, which can be drawn from a mix of these power types. Thus, an ordinary employee who is popular, knowledgeable and well-networked within the organization may have more real influence than a manager several levels above him. Either party could improve their ability to lead and influence by first assessing their levels of each of these powers and then spending some time and energy further developing the ones that makes the most sense for their goals.

Since our newsletter’s theme this year is “Connecting in the New Economy,” let’s take a look at the Network Power, which Bacon defines as “power derived from the breadth and quality of your connections with other people.” Network power is based on the social capita of network members through reciprocal respect, admiration, favor granting, and collaboration, he says. Network power is a substantial source of organizational power-high ratings on this power source can triple your effectiveness at influencing, Bacon claims, and make your leadership substantially more inspirational.

The ability to grow Network Power will depend a lot on the personal powers: Attraction will help you add more people to your network, as will your domain knowledge, your ability to articulate with eloquence, your skill in drawing out and remembering personal histories, and demonstrations of your good character. Connecting and building a strong network thus becomes a both function of your level of power and a huge magnifier of it.

The book is organized around the model into three sections: Personal Power, Organizational Power, and Will Power. Along with chronicling the components of individual power and influence, Bacon gives consideration to how an organization as a whole gains power and influence and then loses it, gradually or in one spectacular mistake. Every chapter has a summary and a list of tough questions that together allow readers to assess their or her level of that type of power and what they might need to do to improve it. The book also has an appendix containing a detailed assessment and specific ways to build your powers.

Don’t be afraid of the book’s heft and small print-Bacon has mastered his “expressiveness” power in his ability to explain a somewhat nebulous topic in a way that is logical, organized, and clear. His brief profiles of well-known leaders are interesting and serve well as examples for his points. There are many books out there that will claim to help increase your ability to influence and persuade, but without having a full understanding of the principles underlying what makes power work, leaders will find that many of these superficial methods will fail.

Our only wish is that Bacon covered more specific influencing skills. Turns out he will, in a new book due out in July: Elements of Influence: The Art of Getting Others to Follow Your Lead. Buy it.

February 26th, 2011|Categories: Blog, Book Reviews|Tags: , |