Growing in Authority, Relinquishing Control: A New Approach by Celia Allison Hahn

By Celia Allison Hahn

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2. Where do you get authority? You get it from within, said interviewees. Several pointed to the way early experiences, received as gifts, later became inner realities: "I've had a sense that I am a person of worth ever since I was little. " Dwight Lundgren, the Baptist minister who said he'd been hired to do a job, also explained that authority comes from "having a sense that I'm comfortable with myself and understand the limits of who I am and what I do, and that who I am is not co-terminous with my role as a minister.

We worked out a clever way of lobbying for our nominee that wasn't exactly tricky, but it was a power play. It was really quite hilarious: as soon as the meeting started, we started maneuvering to get our person onto the committee, while the others also jockeyed for powerand we won! At that minute, we knew we now had an entirely different relationship with the other members of the committee. And the difference was this: they were no longer afraid of our power because we were playing the same game as they were, whereas before we had always been just authentically ourselves, pushing for our objectives in a totally direct way without playing any games.

There's been a few fireworks. [He will say,] "Oh, you should just do this, Loma," and at first I fell into the trap of trying to do it like that and not being able to do it, and then he'd give me heaps for not doing it properly. I've got to the place now where I can say, "Look, darling, it's no use. " So we're progressing. [With church officials she perceives as putting down women,] I'm certainly a long, long Page 14 way down the track now. " Men's ahas tended to be different. Many of them had discovered the limitations of Assertive authority and were moving beyond it.

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