When our teams become empowered, they take ownership and their commitment to success increases. It allows us to tap into all of their resources and expertise which can lead us to achieving amazing results.
When we listen, we show respect, and this can build self-confidence in our teams.
- Ask Questions to Provide Guidance
We don't have to give all the answers; we can ask probing questions that will help our teams come to the answers themselves. Nurturing them, encouraging them.
- Don't Look To Be A Hero
It's an easy trap to fall into, but it's one we must avoid. Don't ask your team to bring you all their problems, encourage them to bring solutions.
- Demonstrate That You Value People
When we value people, they value themselves more, and it increases self-belief. Ask for their input their opinions, nothing bread commitment like involvement.
- Share Leadership Vision
The more our teams know about our goals and objectives the more they can look to contribute.
- Tell Them What, not How
There is more than one way to skin a cat, and our teams often have a lot more collective expertise than we do. To benefit from this expertise tell them what to do, now how to do it and let them surprise you with their skills.
- Trust People
When we lack trust in people, they detect it, which then impacts their self-belief which impacts their performance. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy of impending failure. Showing trust has the opposite effect and increases the probability of success.
- Provide Information to Aid Decision Making
The more information people have, the better informed their decision making could be. If knowledge is power, then give them the power.
- Delegate Opportunities, Not Just More Work
For delegation to become empowerment, there has to be something in it for our teams, and we can show that by delegating opportunities as well as work.
- Share Power
There is no empowerment without power. We need to ensure that we delegate matching authority when we delegate tasks. Otherwise, we will remain involved.
- Provide Frequent Feedback
Don't wait until annual reviews to tell people how they are doing, let them know promptly as this will encourage them as what gets recognized gets repeated.
- Recognize Empowered Behavior
Praise people when people take ownership rather than wait to be empowered.
- Foster Open Communication
People don't want to have managers constantly looking over their shoulders, but they do want to know that they will be there if needed. Open communication is like a safety net, it's not always used, but it's nice to know its there in case you fall.
- Cultivate the Executive Mentality
Encourage people to think like a boss, ask them what they would do if it were their company, or if they were in charge, as this helps to create an empowered mindset.
- Respect Their Boundaries
We all have our roles to play, don't look to do part of the job for them. Once the work is delegated, respect the decision.
- Don't Babysit
Be supportive, but give them the space to do the job, don't be constantly checking up on them.
- Remove Roadblocks
Create opportunities for them to be successful by removing any road block and barriers to success. The more successful they are, the more likely they are to remain empowered.
- Create a Safe and Supportive Environment
Blame kills empowerment quicker than anything else, create a safe environment where people ae encouraged to try new things without fear of retribution.
- Encourage Self-Improvement
Encourage your teams to learn new skills and provide them with the training resources to do so, even if they are not directly related to their jobs.
- Inspire Creative Thinking
Ask challenging questions, present different perspectives, new ideas and get your teams to start to think creatively. Ask them how they think we could improve things look to tap into their hidden expertise.
- Be Tolerant of Mistakes
Empowerment is a journey, and it has many bumps on the path and we need to be supportive rather than critical of failures, if we want to encourage people to continue to the end.
- Don't Second-guess
Once a task is delegated, let the team define the solution, if we start second guessing, then we have not empowered them, mentally we have retained ownership. Empowerment requires us to let go just as much as it requires the team to take up the ownership.
- Be a Role Model
People copy what they see, if you want an empowered team, then model empowerment. Show people what it means to be empowered. Be the example.
- Involve Then In Decision Making
When we involve people in decision making, we show them that they have the capacity to make decisions the right decisions themselves. I remember one of my first bosses always asked me what I thought, and if he thought my suggestion was the right one, he would say okay we will go with that. Now I don't doubt that he had the same suggestion himself, but by involving me and letting me see I was right, it encouraged me to speak up and also to know that I could make the right decision when I was alone. Hence empowered!
Jul 8, 2016