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When You’re in Charge, Your Whisper May Feel Like a Shout

Communication amplified by power

There are three types of communications amplified by power:

  • Direct communication: even feedback (positive or negative) from someone in a position of power can easily become amplified.
  • Silence: when a company is going through a crisis for example, and its leaders respond with silence, employees’ fears are amplified and they usually think worst-case thoughts.
  • Ambiguity: In some cases, requests that seem straightforward can create worry. Take the “I need to talk to you later” statement as example.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

When You’re in Charge, Your Whisper May Feel Like a Shout

When You’re in Charge, Your Whisper May Feel Like a Shout

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/16/jobs/when-youre-in-charge-your-whisper-may-feel-like-a-shout.html

nytimes.com

3

Key Ideas

The power amplification effect

The words of the people in a position of power loom large over the people with less power.

And in most cases, the ones that have the power aren't aware of the impact of their words, because their position reduces their ability to acknowledge how their communication (both verbal and nonverbal) may affect others.

Communication amplified by power

There are three types of communications amplified by power:

  • Direct communication: even feedback (positive or negative) from someone in a position of power can easily become amplified.
  • Silence: when a company is going through a crisis for example, and its leaders respond with silence, employees’ fears are amplified and they usually think worst-case thoughts.
  • Ambiguity: In some cases, requests that seem straightforward can create worry. Take the “I need to talk to you later” statement as example.

Communication when you're in a position of power

We need to be aware of how of our words (or lack of) can influence others when we are in a position of power.

For example, the phrase “I need to talk to you later ” can create worry and anxious thoughts, but you can add a little more communication to it, to ease the other person's fears: try saying something like “I need to see you later today. But don’t worry; it’s nothing bad.”

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