[Please read a couple posts just prior to this one for context]
When examining these definitions and considering the people you work with remember that, from IT’s vantage, there will be circumstances whereby individuals will occupy, or shift into, a different class at times. For example, I was once tasked to provide someone to our company president for computer training. He wanted to “get more out of his PC.” In this circumstance the president became a WorkOn for IT (since we ‘worked on’ him by training him to standards we set), as well as remaining our WorkFor (in that we still ‘worked for’ him in the larger sense).
Because all training requires challenge, we had to be aware of our limitations in challenging him– because of his primary occupancy in our WorkFor class. Remember too that people in positions of power frequently feel vulnerable when they confess an ignorance or need. Being mindful of these things in this circumstance, whereby the trainer has knowledge (and therefore a small power advantage) over the president, allows us to be mindful of special sensibilities and discretions.
Next, we’ll employ the “power prism” whereby we’ll view the circumstances and shifts that bring individuals into other classes. We’ll see how this understanding is necessary for a true optimization of relationships and performance. These shifts are ongoing in the change continuum – and therefore their influence and required management is continual.