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Psychological Empowerment: Identifying Individual and Group Motivators

Psychological empowerment refers to feeling intrinsically motivated to achieve certain goals and objectives, and feel in complete control of one’s actions. Psychological empowerment is important everywhere, be it in school, college, the workplace, or even at home.

Waking up in the morning, one can feel psychologically empowered to get ready, go to school or work, and achieve the tasks of the day, and it is possible that work done on such a day would be better and more voluntarily done than what would be done when one does not feel internally motivated to do it, and does it more as an obligation. Psychological empowerment is not something that can be forced on someone. Only if they internally feel the urge to do something, will they be able to do something.

Empowerment can be applied at different levels, anywhere from an individual to an organisational level. A group that is empowered to work together towards a common goal would do a much better job at achieving it than a few motivated individuals while the rest feel no inclination towards achieving the objective.

Psychological empowerment is linked to two mainstream ideas - productivity and mental wellness.

In terms of productivity, feeling psychologically empowered to be productive will directly result in being more productive, and doing work that is satisfactory and of good quality. It can help us in being more innovative, coming up with good solutions to problems, and committing to a task wholeheartedly. Being productive by setting personal goals also helps in feeling a sense of completion and satisfaction in the end.

Different people can feel empowered by different things. For some, empowerment may be felt if they are given more challenging tasks that demand them to work harder, think creatively, and increase the scope of their skillset. For others, empowerment may mean to work in a team, or manage a group of people. Empowerment can also mean to simply be in a peaceful state of mind, to ensure that they are focused on what they are doing, and no emotional hindrances slow them down.

Emotions play a large role in how empowered a person feels. They affect our state of mind and, indirectly, our choices. Feeling mentally exhausted may result in us trying to find shortcuts or the easy way out of a task. Procrastination is another thing that a lot of us experience. Once in a while, it is okay to procrastinate. Sometimes, the best ideas about how to do something can come to us at the very last moment, or it is possible that time pressure makes some people work quicker and better. However, once procrastinating and leaving everything to the last second becomes habitual, it can be self destructive.

Feeling psychologically empowered is not a state of mind that all of us are in every single day. Every person is different, we all have different triggers that either motivate us to work or make us feel down. It is important for us to be sensitive about this and not do something that can trigger someone else into feeling unmotivated and not under control. For example, bringing up a topic in discussion that we know someone emotionally connects to, can either remind them of something good and empower them, or take them back to a tragedy and demotivate them.

Therefore, it is important for us to realise our own source of psychological empowerment, to ensure that we are motivated and stay in control of our actions. In the case of a group of people, it is also essential to understand what motivates everyone so that an objective can be achieved without differences in the group, in harmony.

Photo by Daniil Kuželev on Unsplash