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Aleta Koman: Negotiating Power in Relationships

Thursday, 19 Jun 2008 | 10:22 PM ET

Whether negotiating power in a relationship or negotiating power at work the skills are the same. In my recent book "My Ex Is Driving Me Crazy" I outline specific guidelines for being in a

position of power in a relationship which can also be applied to realizing your person power at work.

1. Determine the root cause of your feelings of powerlessness either at work or in a relationship.Is it negative self-talk, depression, anxiety, issues from your childhood, low self-esteem?

2. Change your behavior by changing the "Negative Self Talk". Reframe the negative thoughts by putting them into positive statements instead of negative statements like: I'm not deserving of a caring partner instead reframe the negative self-talk and say to yourself "I do deserve to be treated well". " I am a very caring partner and have earned the right to have the same kind of treatment in return".

Instead of saying " I will never rise up in this company, because my dad didn't get a promotion when he was my age and an hourly wage was good enough for him, so it is good enough for me. Instead of this kind of self defeating negative self talk reframe this statement into a positive statement from a position of power. " I am not my dad, and I am a hard working capable employee who can go as far as I set my sites,and goals, an hourly wage is not good enough for me, I deserve better". The power of positive self talk and imagining yourself in a position of power either on the job or in a relationship will have a great influence on your self-esteem, your personal beliefs about your competencies and ultimately in your behaviors.

3. "Act As if Until You Are" People may treat you poorly or you may get passed over for a promotion because your self-esteem is low.Acting your way to success is a process of changing the negative self talk and the behavioral habits that you have been comfortable with in the past but have limited your personal happiness.Setting limits, boundaries,speaking confidently, asking your self questions like: What do I deserve ? What do I need to live a fulfilled and happy life? Answering those questions and then saying I know that I deserve to be happy and I can achieve my goals and dreams . I just have to change my behavior "act as if", and go for it.After taking it a step at a time these changes in turn will lead to changes in other people's perceptions and behavior towards you. This will definitely begin to boost your self-confidence,which will prompt you to act in a stronger and more assertive manner so that you can master the power within you and become a "Power Player".

From Aleta Koman M.Ed.
Author of "My Ex Is Driving Is Crazy"