Dealing with People in Authority

How should you deal with a more knowledgeable doctor, a defiant boss, or a police officer? Diplomats can take a page from advice provided to Mormon women at the blog Feminist Mormon Housewives to better understand how to respond effectively to others–including people in authority.

Maybe what Mormon women need is both a greater self-awareness of their own physical response to authority and a greater intellectual understanding of how to speak the language of authority. Then, upon interacting with authority figures, there will be less a sense of intimidation and more a sense of solidity and purpose.

The language of authority includes speaking in calm, purposeful tones. It includes eye contact. It includes a resolute determination that one’s own beliefs and actions are valuable, defensible, and even right. It includes carefully and genuinely listening to others’ ideas and then repeating one’s own argument — several times if necessary — even when others don’t agree. It includes being cognizant of one’s own sensations of honor, fear and intimidation and allowing those sensations to move through one’s self and then to dissipate so that one’s own position can again be clearly stated. It includes smiling and speaking to bishops and stake presidents and others who wield control over our lives with the same tones in which we’re accustomed to being spoken to. These men are our equals. Via FHM

One thought on “Dealing with People in Authority”

  1. This is a very accurate description about a having a sense of authority. I believe the best way of leadership is by example and that we treat others according to how we want to be treated. Therefore, acting politely, being tolerant, and listening to other individuals are important aspects of portraying authority. Even when we are not shown the same courtesy, we should not be lowering ourselves to levels from others who are disrespectful and have no class. The advice given in this article is very helpful for people who deal with other individuals who are more knowledgeable in different areas. It is a good guideline for knowing how to pretend that you know what you are talking about, something that I would consider useful in the real world.

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