Abusing Power is said to be both
natural and socially reinforced
Studies have demonstrated with increased positional power individuals tend to begin to neglect others and abuse their power. Apparently it is a natural tendency to start focusing on ones personal preferences, needs and desires.
In addition our society has, for years even centuries, allowed this abuse to continue. Such that power and perceived power in society is commonly used to fulfil an individual's needs rather than a relationship's or team's best interests.
Commonly used tactics include dominating, controlling, harassment and bullying. These tactics are recognised as how a majority of people go for what they want. They are also well recognised for their significant detrimental impact on relationships.
Increasing research shows that cooperation and respect provide more fulfilling relationships and productive outcomes for partnerships and teams.
I believe there are two key considerations here.
Firstly, do we automatically lean to abuse of power because we are so socially conditioned to do so? Perhaps with a mindset that leans to Respectfulness we will automatically lean into the empowerment of Respectfulness as we gain positional power.
Secondly, the use of Respectful cooperative practices does not automatically ensure better outcomes. While it is true that relationships and teams that work cooperatively collaboratively have more successful productivity. Only one individual in a team that prefers to operate from a dominating, controlling mindset will sabotage the cooperative effects. For this reason I argue it is critical that if we are to successfully practice Respectfulness everyone involved needs to be aboard with that intention.
We need to be consciously aware and responsive to disrespectful practices. If we don't we at risk.
Are you willing to take on the challenge of reducing the incidence of power abuse? if so how do you plan to do that?
Are you able to recognise abuse of power?
Are you willing to take action against abuse of power when you see it?
If so how?