Empowerment, Best Center for Employment Opportunities

Center for employment opportunities

Center for employment opportunities: From self-help books to motivational speeches, you’ve probably heard the term “empowerment” tossed around a few times. But what does this buzzword actually mean? Don’t worry—we’re here to answer all of your frequently asked questions. With a bit of patience and practice, you’ll be able to empower your friends, co-workers, and even yourself.

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What does it mean to empower someone?

Empowerment involves helping someone have control and authority over their life.

With empowerment, you aren’t “giving” someone this power or authority.

Instead, you’re helping someone feel confident and capable enough to make choices on their own.

How can you empower your friends?

Listen to them with an open mind.

When your friend opens up to you, try not to share your thoughts right away. Instead, give them plenty of time to say what’s on their mind. Once they’re done sharing, offer some supportive, open-ended questions to help walk your friend through their situation.

  • If your friend is upset about something their partner said to them, you might ask, “How would you feel if my partner said that to me?”
  • Being a good listener reminds your friend that their thoughts and experiences are valid and important.

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Remind your friend what you love and care about them.

If your friend is going through a rough patch, remind them about how wonderful they are, and how much they mean to you. Let your friend know that you’ll always be there if they need you and that you’ll be happy to lend them a listening ear whenever.

  • You might say, “I’m only a text away if you need someone to talk to.”
  • You could uplift your friend by saying “You’re one of the kindest, funniest, and most caring people I know.”

How else can you empower your friends and loved ones?

Validate other people’s perspectives.

Give your friend or loved one your full attention, and then summarize what they just told you. Then, try to guess what they’re thinking and feeling—taking that extra leap can help your loved one label and acknowledge their own feelings. Feel free to take your validation a step further by normalizing their feelings, and even sharing a similar experience of your own.

  • You could summarize a conversation by saying, “It sounds like you’re pretty upset that Steve ignored you at work.” Then, you might say, “You’re probably wondering what went wrong, or asking yourself what you could’ve done differently.”
  • You might say, “I completely get why you’re feeling upset. Being ignored is incredibly hurtful.” You could even share, “I understand how you feel. A few months ago, my friend stopped replying to my texts, and I kept wondering what I did wrong.”

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Encourage others to trust themselves.

Remind your friends and loved ones to embrace their regrets, so they can learn and heal from their past mistakes. Your friends and family can also build self-trust by focusing on the present, instead of worrying about the past and future.

  • You might say, “I know you really regret bumping into your neighbor’s fender. What matters is that you owned up to your mistake, paid for the damages, and became a more careful driver.”
  • You could suggest, “Yesterday is already over, and tomorrow is still a day away. Try focusing on what today has to offer!”

How can you empower others as a leader?

Compliment the people on your team.

Don’t focus on your most talented employees; instead, praise everyone who gives their best effort at work. Lots of praise may encourage your teammates to grow and improve in the long run.

Give your workers time to succeed.

A little extra time can go a long way in the workplace. While you can’t always set long deadlines, a bit of extra time can give your team members more wiggle room to experiment and explore. In the workplace, extra time equals improved results.

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Forgive your team when they mess up.

While mistakes can be frustrating, punishing your team is never the answer. Instead, set aside some time to review what minor and major mistakes look like, so your employees know what to avoid in the future.

  • For example, organizing an unsuccessful advertising campaign is an acceptable mistake while posting false advertisements would be an unacceptable mistake.

How do you empower yourself?

Keep an open mind.

For better or for worse, life is full of self-fulfilling prophecies. Let’s say you’re applying for a new job, but you don’t feel very confident. You convince yourself you won’t get the job ahead of time, and you end up performing poorly at the interview, where you don’t end up landing the position. Instead of thinking about what you can’t do, focus on all the potential opportunities waiting for you out in the world.

  • Instead of thinking “Today is going to be a bad day,” you might think, “I don’t know what the day will bring, but I’m excited for whatever’s in store!”

Focus on yourself, not the world around you.

In our day-to-day lives, there’s plenty we can’t control. However, you can control how you respond to life’s challenges. Focus on who you are as a person and what you truly stand for. As you live your truth, your success will speak for you.

  • For example, don’t compare yourself to a co-worker who seems to get more praise and attention from your boss. Instead, focus on producing the best possible work that you can.
  • If you’re falling behind in math class, take time to ask your teacher for help instead of comparing yourself to other students.

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Learn from your mistakes.

Being empowered isn’t about being perfect—it’s about learning and growing from your failures. Use your mistakes as an opportunity to learn and improve, so you can grow into a stronger, more capable person.

  • For instance, if you used the wrong formula in a spreadsheet, make a mental note of the correct formula to use for next time.
  • If you miss a doctor’s appointment, set extra reminders for your next appointment so you arrive on time.

How do you feel empowered when you have a mental illness?

Own your life experiences instead of feeling ashamed.

Ignore anyone who criticizes your diagnosis, or makes you feel lesser because of your life experiences. Remind yourself that their thoughts and opinions don’t matter and that they don’t get to decide how you feel about yourself.

  • Try thinking something like, “People who judge me because of my mental illness aren’t worth my time” or “I can’t control what other people think about me, but I can control how I view myself.”

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Share your experiences with uneducated people.

If you hear someone making a harsh, judgmental comment about mental illness or mentally ill individuals, take a moment to politely educate them on why their words are hurtful. Then, kindly explain how their comments only add to the stigma of mental illness in the long run.

  • For example, you might say, “I know you didn’t mean any harm, but try not to use words like lunatic or psycho to describe someone with a mental illness.
  • You could also say something like, “You shouldn’t compare 2 people with the same diagnosis. Mental illnesses have a wide variety of symptoms, and many people have different experiences.”

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