I'm taking issue with the word EMPOWER.

empower: make (someone) stronger and more confident, especially in controlling their life and claiming their rights.

A business owner and client just returned from a team building event where she was encouraged to EMPOWER her team. Empower them! Motivate them! 

Oh The Pressure!!

Here's where I take issue:

1. To empower someone suggests that they don't have something that they need to have (power).

2. To empower someone is predicated on the idea that I can make someone feel something that they don't feel. I can make them more confident. More ready. More capable. More powerful. That's a lot to take on!

Any time we think we can make anyone do anything we are hitting up against a brick wall. Trying to control the uncontrollable. Believing that we have some responsibility over another person's emotional life.

I can't empower you. Why? Because 1) there's no power missing that I need to give back and 2) it's not my job, nor am I capable of it.

Your power is already there. Much closer than you think. Hidden only behind a paper thin veil of thoughts that you've been giving far too much credit to for far too long.


Allegra SteinComment