Dealing with power

“Dealing with the power of your position and the power of other partners is not openly discussed very often. However, conflicting goals and power dynamics are part of any social fabric. These dynamics can have an underlying destructive effect when they become taboo, i.e. the ‘dark triad of power’: narcissism, machiavellism and psychopathy.

Working within power dynamics requires personal skills - “power skillsl” - in addition to cognitive and emotional skills. In our practical work, we often encounter either a lack of unbiased access to one's own power resources and the power conferred on the position, or a lack of self-awareness of the destructive approach to one's own power. The ideal-typical stages of development described by McClelland can be viewed as stages often found in the careers of successful executives: the transformation from personalized/egocentricto socialized/serving power - towards constructive power skills.”


Lecture “On handling your power and the power of others in leadership,” Conference of the German Society for Transactional Analysis HH 2016


– Bertine Kessel


Which consulting concepts are helpful here?

Systemic transactional analysis:

  • Ego-state concept following E. Berne
  • OK base position and life script concept following E. Berne
  • Three-worlds-roles model following B. Schmid
  • Trap and entrance doors following P. Ware
  • Racket system (function of feelings) following F. English


Concepts from the context:

  • Power stages following D.C. McClelland
  • Level five managers following Jim Collins
  • The power paradox following D. Keltner