Define: Give someone the power or authority to do something.
Empowering can be overt or subtle, and can happen in multiple ways.
A look, one word, a hug, or smile can empower.
Strategic, deep action can empower too.
How we empower those in our midst both professionally and personally matters.
We empower with language, actions, attitudes, response, affect, and mindset.
In my midst, there are many who empower others.
A colleague will speak to parents about math and empower their ability to help their children with a math-friendly attitude and actions.
Another colleague is running the Boston Marathon and raising money to empower families who need support.
A relative empowered a friend who met with a troubling circumstance with comforting words and a show of support.
A brother empowered another by supporting a great trip and time together.
A teacher empowered a child by inviting him to lunch and having a heart-to-heart conversation.
A leader empowered a team by fostering a deep, thoughtful, organized strategic planning session related to the needs of one child.
In a competitive society, empowerment has sometimes been seen as power for some and not for others--a bargaining chip, but in reality to empower more means greater power for all--a win-win proposition.
As we act as parents, educators, friends, and colleagues, we can ask ourselves if we're empowering or defeating. Empowering those around us serves all well.