Tools for understanding / exploring power
Who has power? Do I have power? Why do I/don’t I have power? What can I do with the power I have? – these are all questions we may be asking ourselves as we start to take action to change the world.
When working in a group – either one you have started or one you have joined as you can explore in Working Together To Achieve Change – it can be helpful to discuss what you all think about power and who holds it. The following exercise can be a useful tool to start doing so.
Give your group a sheet of paper with the word ‘power’ on it (if you have more than six people, you might want to split into two groups with two sheets of paper).
Then give everyone five minutes to do what they like with that power.
Watch what happens!
Do people rip up the paper, or give it away? Do they start commanding others around them to do as they wish? Do they join their paper with that of others (if you have more than one group) to make more power together?
When the five minutes are up, reflect with the group about what happened.
Some questions you might want to answer together are:
- How do you feel about power?
- What did you notice about how we each responded to being given some power?
- When have you felt like you have had power to act in your life?
- When have you felt like someone has had power over you in your life?
- When have you felt like you have had power with others in your life?
- What would you like power for?
- What else might we need to think about when building power?