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The power of knowing who you are 


Power is the ability to influence, to create the outcome you desire.  To be able to achieve makes one Powerful. 


Being Powerful is important; it is how you will achieve your goals, fulfil your dreams and live the life you desire.  At the same time it is critical to understand power and Respectfully use it. This is Respectful Practice. 


Our first and only true power is our Personal Power. 


Then there are external forms of power.  Those related to resources outside our self.  It is important to be aware that external power tend to be transitional.  Too much dependence on external power leaves one vulnerable, as it could disappear at any moment, and can easily lead to misuse of power, often in attempts to keep it.  Thus, while external power sources are undeniably important it is Personal Power that is the most important power source for each and every one of us.  

This section, on being Powerful, will either appeal to you because you recognise and value the importance of power.  Or due to the prominence of misuse and vilification of power in our society, you’ll shy away fearing power.  This is because many of our social beliefs and approaches to power, communication and relationships are inappropriate for a humane society.  As a consequence it is necessary ti challenge beliefs about power and is likely to be difficult for many.   At the same time it is very valuable part of enhancing Respectful Practice. 

Power Sources

Personal Power


Power of Connection and Influence

         Power in Numbers

Power of Resources

         Using what you have

Positional Power

              Understanding Roles and Responsibilities

Coercive Power

         Using force

Power of Knowledge 

         Expert Power 

Personal Power: Self-Determination

There is great power in Self-Determination. When you are Self-Determined you know who you want to be, focus on being who you want to be, are less influenced by others and make more empowering decisions for your life.  Self-Determination is the foundation to Personal Power.  Where Personal Power is your ability to create and live the life you want.  Do this Respectfully and everyone has the potential to live the life they want. 

Power of Connections and Influence 

Other people we spend our time with, indeed everything around us has powerful influence on us. 

If we wish to change the most significant thing we can do are make a clear plan for our forward movement AND ensure we have an environment, physical and social that will support us in taking those actions. 

Positional Power:  Roles and Responsibilities

Roles provide us with clarity of what we are required expected to do

Often with roles comes a form of power

Always responsibilities

Due to roles and the responsibilities there is often an inequity of power.  This inequity creates the potential of misuse of power all too often implemented.  

Misuse of Power 

The misuse of power is common practice in todays reality.  It comes about when people with access to external powers, such as positional or desired resources, use that power to gain for themselves at the cost of and with no regard for others.  

Power inequality is socially constructed and reinforced to such an extent that often we accept the inequality without considering if we can address it. 

This social construction plays a powerful role in the high incidents of Workplace Bullying, indeed all Bullying.  It also plays a major role in experiences of disrespect, powerlessness and invalidation.  Having a significantly damaging impact on the well being and mental health of a multitude of individuals. 


Without personal Self-Protection in the form of Self-Determination, boundaries, safe guards, and risk assessments you can easily find yourself at the mercy of others.  Self-Protection provides you with a security that empowers you to make more effective and appropriate choices in order for you to live a personally meaningful life. 


For example strong financial backing means you can make more choices, including to leave a job that is soul destroying.  With a strong empowering and supportive network you are protected socially, as well as health wise.  Being able to distinguish a toxic person means you have a chance to protect yourself from them. 


Self-Protection comes in many forms and provides you with great power, assuming you don't over do it such you start living in a self made cage. 

The True Power of Knowledge

As we leave the age of information, in which we learnt the value and power of knowledge to achieve what we want, it is important to understand the power of knowledge.  For without a doubt there is great power in knowledge. 

As a society to use knowledge to move ourselves forward, to be better prepared for the day, the week, to plan our lives, to do the right thing, at least what we hope is the right thing.  We use knowledge to make things better.

The true power of knowledge is to empower informed decisions.  Too often it is used to control others, sometimes under the false pretence of knowing what is best for someone else. 

The knowledge on this site is designed to empower. Empower you. Empower a society of cooperation and kindness. 

Interested in more?

Consider joining the Respectful Team, doing training, or even just checking out the blogs and resources page

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