Organizations that empower folks further down the chain or try to get rid of the big hierarchical chains and allow decision making to happen on a more local level end up being more adaptive and resilient because there are more minds involved in the problem.

–Steven Johnson

Empowerment. This concept gained heightened awareness in the 1980’s / 90s for management and business administration with the intent to increase autonomy, responsibility, and levels of influence. It is also intended to minimize frustration and low self-esteem for those that have so much to offer and are prevented from doing so.

HOW TO EMPOWER OTHERS – Here are 6 Behaviors that will increase your leadership effectiveness:

1. Let go of doing the actual work; DELEGATE! Stop being a technician and allow those that need to do the work the time and space to actually perform and they’ll rise to the occasion. When I first started to delegate to others I always felt they never did the task as well as I did. WOW was that wrong. They did it better. Yes, at first they needed some time, coaching and feedback on how to perform better, but they learned and grew; I was truly impressed and never looked back.

2. Train others: You have to give others a chance and then you need to ensure they have the proper education/development to perform the task you’re requesting of them. If it’s sales then they need sales training on how best to serve the customers, how to understand their needs, how to listen and communicate. If they are a technician, they need to know the process and possess the tools/skills necessary to perform at their highest level and satisfy the wants of the customer.

3. Give feedback and Coach– How can anyone know where they stand unless they are given feedback on how they are performing? So many times a leader just goes back to either doing the work or giving the task to others. This prevents the new person from learning and growing. It also creates an increased workload for the more tenured/experienced team members resulting in burn-out.

4. Reward individuals (and teams) when they excel. Provide incentives for continual learning and growth opportunities. Additionally, provide incentives for those that become leaders of leaders, especially when they mentor and develop others.

5. Create a team where each team member utilizes their skills, abilities, and talent. They need to understand and leverage each others strengths, and they need to want to help one another develop areas of weakness. No one can act on their own. Everyone needs and requires help. Build a team where members hold each other accountable to the highest level of performance and where they refuse to settle for mediocrity.

6. Have fun and make it a game! Everyone wants to get joy out of their work. It’s up to you, the leader, to set the tone that the only competition is about satisfying the customer and achieving goals.Why not make establishing best practices and improving the work environment fun?

Get everyone involved in the process and create a culture that others want to be part of. To learn more about empowering others contact us.

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