When You Feel Powerful You Talk Too Much, and Your Subordinates Perform Poorly

In a computer-based simulation of a Mount Everest expedition, teams whose leaders had been induced to feel powerful (“Think about a time when you had power over someone”) achieved just 59% of their goals, in comparison with 76% by teams whose leaders hadn’t been induced to feel powerful, according Leigh Plunkett Tost of the University of Michigan, Francesca Gino of Harvard, and Richard P. Larrick of Duke. A feeling of power prompts leaders to verbally dominate, which gives the impression that they are less open to others’ ideas; this perception diminishes team performance. Organizations might be able to minimize this effect by maintaining an egalitarian culture, reminding leaders of subordinates’ importance, and encouraging employees to question the legitimacy of leaders who dominate social interactions, the researchers say.

SOURCE: When Power Makes Others Speechless: The Negative Impact of Leader Power on Team Performance

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