Do You Feel Empowered at Work?
1) True or False: “I have a feeling of clear direction and connectedness to the goings-on around me and understand how my work connects to the mission/purpose of my organization.”
If you answered True: You are likely on the path to feeling a sense of overall empowerment.
If you answered False: It might be time to reexamine the mission/purpose of your organization and explore more deeply where you feel connected or disconnected and begin to seek where there are paths for alignment. If you answered False, it doesn’t mean you have to quit your job, rather, pause and be willing to see it with new eyes.
2) True or False: “I tend to feel as if time, resources, and support are scarce to do what I’m asked to do.”
If you answered False: You likely feel that you have what you need to reach your desired outcomes.
If you answered True: See it as an opportunity to be creative and explore out-of-the-box ideas to complete your goals, play with what if scenarios, brainstorm, even daydream—sometimes a small shift in thinking can create a new resource or avenue of support not previously considered.
3) True or False: “I feel as if I have more to gain professionally through my work than I feel at risk of losing something.”
If you answered True: You likely understand that taking risks is part of being a professional and have developed the confidence to know that a single meeting or project does not define your career.
If you answered False: See it as an opportunity to explore what’s working, what’s going well, and what you’ve achieved, so when you do face risk, you are clear of all the past gains as well future ones to come.
4) True or False: “The people I work with are open and collaborative—they want to share ideas and receive feedback.”
If you answered True: You’re likely on a team where others feel empowered and where there is an elevated level of psychological safety, a cornerstone of a high functioning team, according to a study conducted at Google.
If you answered False: See it as an opportunity to explore what your teammates are really thinking and feeling, ask questions, and be curious: conversation is the gateway to building an empowered team.
5) True or False: “I feel energized and absorbed in what I’m doing and feel the value of achieving what I’m committed to more often than not.”
If you answered True: You’re likely clear on your purpose and your actions are in solid alignment, and you might also be working for a leader/manager who recognizes your contributions.
If you answered False: Begin to create awareness around what gives you energy and where you feel your contributions are valued. From there, see where this work is in or out of alignment with your values and goals and with that data, small shifts in behavior may naturally occur.
6) True or False: “My work life feels like a house of cards—if one card falls, the house will crumble.”
If you answered True: You likely experiencing a time of disempowerment, it might be time to create awareness around which card is most vulnerable and begin exploring options for support there.
If you answered False: You’re likely in a time of empowerment.
7) True or False: “I feel like my team has open, authentic conversations as needed about projects and the goings on of our work culture.”
If you answered True: You’re likely steeped in a work culture where empowerment is a shared value.
If you answered False: Perhaps your team is facing change, uncertainly, or the goals are not clear. Despite the turmoil, this period can also present opportunities to discuss what’s working and what’s not, allowing a chance for the team connect to some empowered moments, actions, and projects.