It's often said that power changes people, but according to a new study from Michael K. Kraus of Yale University's School of Management, published in Quartz, power actually reveals who people already are.

"The more power people get, the more freedom they feel they have to be their authentic selves, acting consistently with their goals and values," writes Kraus.

While most of us feel a need to temper our behavior depending on who's around us and what kind of impression we hope to make, powerful people are free to be wholly themselves. As people feel more powerful, they also feel more authentic.

Here are some questions to help you determine whether you have authentic power:

1. Do people listen when you speak? If people like you, honor you, admire you, they will listen to you, and if they trust you they'll see you as a person with power.

2. Do others come to you for advice? If people are constantly asking you what you think and you tell them and they listen, you have influence, you have power. People ask advice from those they admire, those they think have the answers. Serve those people well by listening to what they have to say, but then steer them to find the answers they already have within them. That is the best advice you can give another.

3. Do you display confidence? Those who have confidence get things done. They know that confidence breeds bold action, and they understand that without risk there is no reward. If you have confidence, you have influence and power.

4. Can you communicate your message effectively? Influence is about communicating ideas and making them stick. The power of influential people comes from their communication. If you have a message that others resonate with, if you can use words to support your ideas and inspire others, you have a powerful tool at your disposal.

5. Can you make uninteresting things sound compelling? How many people can take the mundane and make them interesting, or take the complex and make it compelling? Those with power tend to have that gift, and we follow them. In person or online, they know how to make things current and compelling.

6. Do you have passion and enthusiasm? Passion is pure strength and power. When you see a person with passion, with enthusiasm, with a positive spirt, you know that nothing can stop them, because purpose follows passion.

7. Do you have the power of persuasion? Influential people can persuade people to do things they normally wouldn't do. When you can convince people, you're likely to also end up converting them to your cause. Persuasion is an art of power, and it's at its most elegant when those you've persuaded come away thinking the idea was theirs to begin with.

Power comes to those who can influence--it originates in the ability to take action and to invite others to take action with you.

Published on: Nov 28, 2016
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