If you want to get power, listen carefully. Don’t be impulsive. Don’t arrogantly insert your opinion. Express gratitude. Cultivate a culture of respect. Show your respect for other people’s efforts. Promote a culture of equality, too, where everybody’s opinion matters. Tell stories.
Human beings are wired to care and give and it’s probably our best route to happiness.
Studies have shown touch to be the primary language of compassion, love and gratitude – emotions at the heart of trust and cooperation – even more than facial expressions and voice. Touch is the central medium in which the goodness of one individual can spread to another. Touch is the original contact high.
When people tell stories that unite the community or the organization that they work for and illustrate the principles of that organization, those people rise in the social standing in that group. They rise in power.
The power paradox is that we gain power by advancing the welfare of other people and yet when we feel powerful, it turns us into impulsive sociopaths and we lose those very skills. If you’re in the military, you gain power by forging strong ties in your comrades. And then the irony is that once we feel powerful and we are taken with our own success, we ignore the skills that got us power in the first place.
The truest you can be is taking off those clothes.
If you have that spark that inspires other people, if you have a spark that gives resources to other people, that shares in really collaborative fashion, a spark of wit that kind of tells a story that gives people novel perspective of something, that’s the kind of charisma that really leads to lasting power. It’s not the kind of charisma that’s seductive and self-aggrandizing. It’s really a sort of a kind of social energy that really brings about the best in other people.