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Power relations are dynamic.
Most imagine power relations to be static. They believe that the powerful shall remain powerful always irrespective of the time and space they operate in. But this could not be further than the truth. Power relations are evolving constantly. Depending on the behavior of certain variables, power relations change and the ones who can take note of these changes, stand to benefit.
The Importance of Space
In a nation with high power distance and bureaucratic interventions, the bureaucrats would naturally hold more power. But the bureaucrats would not hold the same level of power in a developed country where all benefits are transferred online to its citizens and the scope to use discretionary power is limited.
Further, the importance of space in power relations can easily be understood by us when we are stopped by a security guard of a building complex who has been authorized not through a legal dictate but just by the dictate of the dwellers to inquire the nature of business and destination from every visitor. You might be more educated and in a better position in society, but right at that space, at that moment, the guard holds power over you, which brings us to:
The Importance of Time
The Guard would hold more power over you if it is in the middle of night rather than in the morning hours.
A union leader would have more power over the management of an organization in a year marked with unfortunate accidents. The police would have more power in a state of emergency rather than in times of peace. Isn’t it wonderful how differently we can look at the variables themselves?
Time can also be looked at through lens of time-period or a fast approaching deadline. The party whose deadline is nearer would be keener to come to a solution and thus, yield some power to their opponent.
The Importance of Relation
This sounds apparent. But often we forget that power relations depend a lot on how much intertwined both the parties are. How dependent are they on each other? How frequently do they have to deal with each other? If there is no dependency, the chances of conflict would be minimal.
But in a globalized world, can there be any two persons with no mutual dependency? Maybe this is one of the reason why conflicts around the world are increasing at such a rate!
What other variables do you think affect power relations? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.
Amartya Dey, India
Other Articles by the Author:
- The First Rule of Negotiation
- Human Aspect: Beware of the Exceptional Employee
- Human Aspect: Importance of Precedent
- Two Levers: Potential & Tacit Knowledge (Part I)
- Breaking Organizational Silos (Part I)
- Breaking Organizational Silos (Part II)
- Working More than 12 Hours?
- The Abuse of the 360º Feedback System
2016 would end in another hour or so, in India. Although resolutions can be taken any day of the year and not just at the start of a new year by the Gregorian calendar, why not use this human tendency to be more resolute?
Here are mine:
Learn 3 new skills.
I would like to learn 3 specific skills this year to become a better person and a professional. As is the theme of this blog, constant learning has become the order of the day. We need to become learning machines. Business analytics and coding are 2 skills that I need to work upon. I do not know how to drive a car. So, that is another skill I would like to pick up in 2017.
Challenge the status quo.
Most do not care about our environment and public well-being. I would like to challenge the status quo even if that costs me professionally or personally. Some beliefs should matter more than our personal well-being.
Fail at 5 things.
I would not just pick up projects and challenges that I can complete easily and/or win. I want to fail at 5 specific things this year (and this does not include the resolutions I am listing here). *wink*
Be respectful to opposing ideas.
I would be more respectful too ideas that are contrary to my belief-system. This is one of the best ways to learn. For being respectful, one needs to be a better listener. In 2016, I have become a good listener. I need to be better.
I promise not to compromise on with dishonest and agenda-driven people. I would not compromise with my value-system. Being aggressive does not mean that you need to insult others. Be aggressive like Rahul Dravid if you know what I mean.
Convert my blog into a website.
This blog has given me space to express and experiment with my ideas, especially on the fields of learning, education and human resources. I am thankful to the readers for visiting this blog space. Hopefully I would have something better to offer in 2017.
What are your resolutions? Let the World know.
Happy 2017, People! May it be exciting like never before!
Author: Amartya Dey, India
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