Dear Reader

Do you feel powerful? What is power? Is it something that only people in leadership positions have? How do we gain personal power? These are a few questions I will be pondering in this month's Inspire.

See right hand column for:

  • More positive news – James Butler's website of positive news
  • The wonder of Wellworths!

Best wishes

Melanie Greene

Do you feel powerful?

Background to this edition on power – When I was in New Zealand recently I spent time at a friend's house and, looking through their bookshelves, I pulled out a book called ‘The 48 Laws of Power' by Robert Greene (no relation!). As I started reading it, I became very disappointed as it was all about devious and underhand ways of getting and keeping power. What I am interested in for my clients, and myself, is how we feel personally powerful without walking over or manipulating others. So I thought I would write an Inspire on the topic.

It is easy to think that power is about hierarchy, with the people at the top of an organisation or government holding power over others. In recent months, we can see clearly that although those people might have the power to create chaos and problems for others, they don't necessarily comes across as being ‘powerful'!

What is power? How is it different from personal power? – The dictionary defines power as:

  • The ability, skill or capacity to do something
  • Physical force or strength
  • Control and influence over other people and their actions
  • The political control of a country exercised by its government or leader
  • The authority to act or do something according to a law or rule.

But what about personal power, which does not have a dictionary definition, but for me is made up of three different facets:

1.  Power over ourselves - our ability to master our mind and our mood in order to get the best from ourselves. It starts with being aware of our thoughts, feelings, behaviour and the impact we have on others and the world around us. Followed by the belief that we have choices and that we can master ourselves and take charge of our lives. And, finally, having the confidence to take action to command how we think, feel and behave to create value in the world.

‘Each of us makes his own weather, determines the colour of the skies in the emotional universe which he inhabits.' Fulton J Sheen

2.  Influence over our environment – it can sometimes seem that things happen in our environment that we have no control over. But what I have noticed in my life is that when I am in the best possible state of mind and mood, that either things seem to fall into place, or I am able to get the best out of a situation even if things do not turn out as planned.

‘Do not conquer the world with force, for force only causes resistance.' Tao Te Ching

3.  Connecting with others and influencing them – it is very hard to connect with others if we are not in tune with ourselves. When we are at one with ourselves it is easier to connect with others, deal with their foibles, have a dialogue with them and start to influence them appropriately.

‘Sharing a conversation that makes a deep impression, even if just for a short time, is a powerful means for bringing people's hearts together.' Daisaku Ikeda

Where do you feel you have the greatest influence: over yourself, your environment or with other people? What actions can you take to increase your personal power?

How to spot when you are misusing power - It is easy to think that it is only dictators and bullies who misuse power, but we can all, at times, step over the mark and our behaviour then appears to others as bullish or even bullying. Over the years, as I have developed my own inner power, confidence and assertiveness I have noticed the following: others may not feel 100% confident and assertive and, unless I make sure that they are given the opportunity to voice their wants, views or concerns, they might not be forthcoming. This can result in them finding me a bit overpowering – strange as that may seem!!

Look out for the following signs and symptoms and seek feedback from others as to how you are coming across:

  • Others are not forthcoming in talking to you about their wants, views or concerns, so you might need to do more to encourage them
  • You let other people's reactions and behaviour get to you and you slip from being in assertive Adult mode to Controlling or Critical Parent mode, which is likely to be seen by others as overbearing or bullying.

When and with whom might you be misusing your power?

Dealing with other people's misuse of power - What you can do when you are faced with others who are misusing their power:

  • Master your reaction, your thoughts and mood to get back into a calm assertive state
  • Deal with your fears and any negative beliefs about the individual or the situation that might stop you from sorting out the situation
  • Respond from the assertive Adult mode, sometimes this is enough to change their behaviour towards you
  • If necessary talk to them in an Adult to Adult manner about the situation, what you want and need to make your interactions and your relationship with them more constructive.

‘Nobody is as powerful as we make them out to be.' Alice Walker


Do you want support in developing your own personal power or that of your staff? We provide consultancy advice, training and coaching. For more information or to discuss anything in confidence please call Melanie on 01865 377334 or click here to email. For more information about Grovelands visit our website by clicking here.  

Good news blog

It seems that I am not the only person wanting to pass on good news. I have known James Butler from Painless Business for a number of years and enjoy his monthly newsletter. He has launched a website - click on this link. This is what he says about it: ‘This is an attempt by a few people to create a blog that only features good news and is an attempt at an antidote to the bad news dominating the mainstream media. Most of the contributions come from me, so I'd be really grateful if you could have a look at the blog and then suggest some stories for inclusion. In particular, I am looking for small business successes - things like new products, hiring staff, increased sales, etc. I am finding them for big businesses, but would love to feature smaller businesses too.'

The wonder of Wellworths – My PA, Sarah Collins, sent me an article from the Telegraph magazine, about the ex-manager of the Dorchester Woolworths, Claire Robertson, leasing back the old Woollies store and opening Wellworths. Having learned from the mistakes that Woollies made and the success of various pound shops who are thriving in today's recession, she has created a new type of store to cater for the needs of the local people. It made me wonder if there are other stories like this where something new and positive has grown out of the embers of dead businesses – do you know of any stories like this?

It seems that it will be people with imagination, wisdom, passion, and the willingness to take a calculated risk in today's climate that will succeed where others have failed.


Other services that we offer include…

  • Practical and interactive talks and presentations at your conferences, business networks or away days
  • Inspiring and practical articles, hints and tips for your website, company newsletter or training courses
  • Consultancy advice on a range of topics from recruitment and retention of staff, to appraisal and performance management

Call me on 01865 377334 or email by clicking here to discuss your needs.


To order a copy of: Master Your Inner Critic, Release Your Inner Wisdom, click here to email me for an order form. £8.99 plus £1.00 UK P&P.


‘Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.' Marianne Williamson


Feel free to pass this issue of ‘Inspire' onto others – if you have been forwarded this issue and would like to receive your own copy each month, click here to subscribe to our monthly newsletter.

  You are receiving this email because you are a friend or client of Grovelands or you have requested the newsletter from our website. If you no longer wish to receive this please click here.