You might be wondering – what in the world (or universe) is the ‘Thor Effect’?
The ‘Thor Effect’ is a mystical experience full of Asgardian power and a result of the use of powerful hammer, called Mjolnir. Mjolnir is a powerful Asgardian hammer that is capable of controlling the weather, allows the carrier to fly if released with enough power, and requires anyone who lifts it to be “worthy” of said power.
This may be an accurate depiction of the ‘Thor Effect’ in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but looks a bit different in the workplace. So let’s compare….
- Controlling the Weather / Environment
I’m guessing most of us would love to control the weather and, as a lifelong Minnesotan, I would absolutely love to wield this power! In the workplace, many of us find ourselves wanting to control the situation, change the group dynamic, or improve our relationships with others – so what’s stopping us?
Oftentimes, it is a misunderstanding that power is ‘bad’ or ‘harmful’. Don’t get me wrong, power can be harmful when used inappropriately; however, people generally aim to develop positive working relationships rather than possessing power over those around them.
One of the greatest misconceptions about power is related to the ‘have or have not’ argument – that one either has power or does not. We know there are different types of power (i.e., Expert, Referent, Information, Legitimate, Reward, and Coercive) and the classification of these types helps us to analyze the balance of power in any given situation. I would argue that power exists on a spectrum and that we all have the ability to harness our power from time to time, ultimately influencing the environment we work in.
- Allows the Carrier to Fly / Growth
Personal and professional growth is a natural part of life and finding our voice means working through uncomfortable situations. People react to feelings of powerlessness and discomfort in many ways, ultimately impacting the workplace experience.
If we again consider that power exists on a spectrum and we empower those around us to use their voice, it provides employees at all levels the opportunity to grow, to influence workplace situations, and to promote positive change that reverberates within the organization. Employee influence is a critical element as it can help an organization move forward, but also serves as an intrinsic factor because it helps each of us to grow in our self-determination and grit – ultimately helping us to fly.
- Requires us to be “Worthy” / Truth
The requirement that anyone who lifts Mjolnir must be ‘worthy’ suggests a need for awareness and understanding of what it means to be worthy. This makes me think about truth and its intersection with power. Just as we all have an idea of what makes us worthy, we all possess our own truth. It is our ability to engage in our truth that gives us power, the power to help us to finally speak our truth.
It wasn’t until I initiated what I call the ‘Thor Effect’ that I realized what harnessing my power truly felt like. This experience was life-changing, as it empowered me to speak my truth and create an environment where candid feedback, challenging the status quo, and advocating for myself and others was not only accepted, but encouraged.
I challenge you to control the weather, fly, and recognize that you are indeed worthy of harnessing your power – it’s time to engage the ‘Thor Effect’!