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Thorough knowledge of strengths and weaknesses of different types of power (such as reward, coercive, referent, expert, and legitimate) gives a person a chance to be more effective in leadership, management, and everyday life.
Each type of power is effective in a particular setting, but expert and reward types of power seem to have the most advantages. An expert power gives you confidence in your actions that no other power alone will give. On the other hand, people are motivated by the benefits they can get after doing some task. Therefore, a thoughtful reward system may prove to be an excellent tool for management and leadership. Reward power is also quite effective because of the variety of rewards that can be introduced, both tangible and intangible, short term and long term.
A wise leader or manager must always work on improvement of his/her skills. I strongly believe that a combination of various types of power would work best in any given setting. It is important to constantly improve your expert power by attending different field-related seminars or conferences. Continuing education a person can stay updated in his field of work and deepen the knowledge he/she already has. It is also possible to improve one’s referent power by exploring your own personality and trying to improve your interpersonal communication skills. Unfortunately, some people need to be motivated by coercive power, so one must not overlook this type of power and be firm and decisive when executing it.
A person usually possesses several types of power. For example, I may have reward and coercive power over my little cousin or referent power with my peers. Moreover, I think that I possess expert power because I’m receiving an education that will be valuable in my future work. I plan to improve my expert and reward power as I think those are two types of power that work very well together and can bring great results in management or leadership activities.