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From Power to Empower

BY: kishore thampi | Category: Self-Improvement | Submitted: 2010-11-18 09:59:04
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Article Summary: "Empowerment is a multi-dimensional social process that helps people to gain control of their own lives. It is a process that fosters power in people for use in the betterment of their lives, their societies and the environment in which they thrive..."


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"Give a man a fish, you feed him for the day. Teach a man to fish, you feed him for life". This age-old adage truly epitomizes the essence of "Empowerment". When we are able to equip people to think and take decisions on their own, then that is the greatest gift that we can give to them.

The word "Empowerment" is not about giving people power, in the wealth of their knowledge and motivation, to do their jobs magnificently. It is all about making them realize the fact that they can become powerful only by letting this power out and enabling others to develop. At the core of the concept of empowerment is the idea of power. The possibility of empowerment depends on 2 things. First, empowerment requires that power can change. Second, the concept of empowerment depends on the idea that power can expand. It is that expansion and decentralization of power which gives sanctity to the concept of empowerment.

Empowering does not necessarily mean delegating. Delegation is premised only on organisation's benefit whereas empowerment is a means of motivating the people by incorporating the learning and development aspects for individuals so that they can act in the best interest of the organisation. Therefore empowerment takes employees interests as the means to achieve the end. The Eifel Tower in Paris is a standing example of the magic of empowerment. The tower was completed in a record time because each and every worker saw the larger picture and took it as their onus to complete this structural magnificence in the least possible time. And they succeeded. When we are responsible for what we are doing, then the final outcome looks really pristine and majestic.

Teaching is considered to be the noblest of all professions. This is because a good teacher instills in the mind of a student the ability/confidence to think on their own and take decisions. A teacher has the option to remain all-powerful, never willing to divulge vital information that can shape the child's personality. But when a teacher transcends this and comes down to the level of the student and empowers them, then he/she becomes a master. A true master not only articulates but also transfers the power of knowledge to the disciples so that they can be masters of the future. And that exactly is "Empowerment"- Creating better and competent minds for future.

Empowerment is a multi dimensional social process that helps people to gain control of their own lives. It is a process that fosters power in people for use in the betterment of their lives, their societies and the environment in which they thrive. An empowered employee is the insignia of success. It is the duty of each HR professional to work towards developing a culture of empowerment in the organisation so that the people are willing to exercise the authorities delegated to them.

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