Torreluna is responsible for planning and delivering projects to develop the potential of people and teams.
The approach that has proved to be most incisive, and on which we have been researching for constant refinement and improvement in the field for years, is that of self-empowerment: a set of tools and mindsets capable of triggering and consolidating disruptive evolutionary leaps.
Empowerment and Self-Empowerment: meaning and applications
What is self-empowerment
There are many meanings and definitions of the words empowerment and self-empowerment, borrowed from extensive literature, but above all from the feeling that these words motivate action.
On the one hand we have the corporate world, in which the word “empowerment” is linked to a climate that values and motivates pro-active behaviors, co-responsibility, involvement and initiative. An organisation characterised by empowerment is therefore able to enable its managers to delegate and empower collaborators, and to allow / provoke, in each member, a contributory and autonomous attitude. We receive empowerment when we have all the tools and the freedom of action to achieve a goal. It is therefore something that we receive from others or that we give to others. Companies with little empowerment, typically, are those with very top-down leadership and a hierarchical culture.
From empowerment to self-empowerment
Talking about self-empowerment, the concept is slightly complicated, because it is easy to attribute many meanings to this term, such as motivation, energy, positivity or others, relating to the world of self-determination, self-motivation, self-something else…
This definition places the self-empowerment approach within the broader thinking of positive psychology that studies the processes by which people aspire to success, well-being and their own happiness.
The professional use of self-empowerment tools, on the other hand, allows us a much more specific and precise definition: having self-empowerment means having a solid and lasting feeling of the protagonist in one’s personal and professional life, regardless of the conditions and any external difficulties.
The feeling of being the protagonist however is not enough. It needs to be based on a real ability to build ideas and conditions for the true protagonist to generate conditions that are challenging not only for one’s self, but also for one’s own circumstances and contacts.
Self-empowerment, its use and how to practically apply it
We then enter into the more operational and practical definition of self-empowerment, that is the ability to open up new possibilities and opportunities, even in situations in which the possibilities are perceived as few and limited.
Opening up possibilities allows the individual and the company to have a range of alternatives to choose from. Choice is that painful process that allows us to be fully responsible and protagonists of what we do. Just think of the difference between those who are forced by others to carry out an action (whatever it is) and those who freely choose to carry out the action itself. In the second case we will have an amplified level of responsibility and sense of the protagonist.
The basics of self-empowerment
Self-empowerment is the process that creates the conditions – individual and organisational – for this result: people who are and who feel protagonists, responsible, engaged, fully involved in their role, results, path and evolution.
At an individual level, to feed a high level of self-empowerment, it is essential to act on some personal processes, breakouts that trigger a solid and constant level of strengthening over time.
At the organisational level, it will be important to create good conditions (real possibility of choice, decision-making co-responsibility, culture of feedback) that amplify individual results. These conditions are not realised in a short time, but require a progressive transformation of the managerial culture and crucial processes of company.
Self-empowerment and personal growth: how to get them?
The self-empowerment approach takes on an incisiveness and meaning, particular in its application to individual and team potential, through the use of its powerful activation and release methods that make it the main tool in people development processes.
Precisely in the context of the development of potential, where we should be learning to open up possibilities, but instead we are all tending to label others and ourselves, lies the key to experimenting and then eventually putting new attitudes and behaviours into a system. Explore, question oneself, research and take into consideration the feedback, have an open and curious approach, possibly also being able to give up or even betray – momentarily – parts of oneself that could be partially limiting … these are the added values of the application of self -empowerment to self development (personal, professional, managerial).
Empowerment: use and applications
Self-empowerment in businesses
Particular coherence is also found between the self-empowerment mindset and the methods of approaching complexity and forecast of the future, in addition to strategies for reading weak signals, planning and “safe try” action, flexibility and the ability to change with change. The development of the potential of each individual, therefore, allows for alignment and provides tools for each person, and the organisation as a whole, to be powerful in dealing with current and future complex scenarios.
Self-empowerment: the key points
In particular, following a path of activation of self-empowerment, as well as the assessment of the individual level of self-empowerment, highlights and stimulates the centrality of some basic attitudes:
- the ability to first recognise one’s own responsibilities, rather than listing those of others
- the ability to use the resources (external, but also internal) that are available, rather than identifying those that would be needed but are currently absent
- the ability to look to the future, above all with a confident and positive attitude, rather than – in the first instance – construct worrying or negative scenarios
These three attitudes are connected by the red thread of possibility: we certainly have greater possibilities when we start from what depends on us, using present resources and having a confident look to the future. Opposing attitudes, on the other hand, lead to a conservative and restrained approach.
Increasing one’s self-empowerment therefore means acquiring (personally and culturally) these three basic attitudes.
How to increase your empowerment according to the self-empowerment approach?
From a practical point of view, when you want to work on opening up of specific possibilities, it will also be important to recognise some crossroads that practically activate the exploration, triggering and consolidation of this new possibility:
- re-activation of one’s own desire for energy, ambition, Eros, ability to want and aspire
- construction of a (imagined) positive scenario in which this new possibility is realised, which includes the positive aspects of this realisation
- ability to name the specific thoughts and beliefs that oppose this opening up of possibilities, and work to identify strategies for disempowerment and circumvention of such “killer thoughts”
- ability to identify the internal resources necessary for exploration, and activate external support resources
- ability to design reversible experiments that allow you to really put your foot in the new possibility, to breathe its perfume, even without having yet taken any definitive steps. The experimentation also allows for testing the strategies of disempowerment and circumvention of the identified killers in the field
There are many other aspects of the self-empowerment process and culture. We have outlined here the main ideas relating to the use we have made of it for years, fully knowing that many other points of view are possible and have just as much value.
To learn more, you have our entire site at your disposal. Enjoy yourself!