It's the dream isn't it? - A bustling workplace where managers are not just focused on the daily grind but also on propelling their teams forward, driving innovation, and building a brighter future.
It's the kind of leadership that everyone strives for, but remains elusive for so many. Perhaps because it feels quite risky. It needs leaders to let go and adopt an empowering style—one that allows leaders to step back and team members to step up.
It doesn't come easily, so in this blog post, we'll take a peek into the world of empowering leadership, exploring its benefits, characteristics, and the practical steps you can take to create a collaborative and growth-oriented environment!
Benefits of Being an Empowering Leader
Let me share a story about Sarah, a manager in a financial services company. Sarah believed in empowering her team to make decisions and take ownership of their work, so took a leap of faith and (with the teams permission) took a step back. She noticed a remarkable change—her team members became more motivated, innovative, and engaged. By trusting them with predictable responsibilities and giving them the freedom to explore their ideas within agreed parameters, Sarah unlocked their full potential. The result? Increased productivity, improved problem-solving, and a workplace where people thrived.
Characteristics of Empowering Leaders
Empowering leaders possess unique qualities that set them apart. Take Gary, a leader I once worked with. Gary was exceptional at creating a safe and trusting environment. He would actively listen to his team members, encouraging them to share their thoughts and ideas openly. By valuing their input and providing constructive feedback, he made them feel heard and valued. He certainly got the best from me because I felt safe to stretch myself, knowing he would be supportive if I got into difficulty. Gary understood that when people feel safe to take risks and contribute their unique perspectives, magic happens! People grow and they take the business with them. But it doesn't happen over night.
Practical Steps to Empower Others
To become an empowering leader, it's important to take small but actionable steps. It isn't as simple as declaring "I'm empowering you all!" Here are some practical strategies that can help you create an empowering culture within your team:
Give and receive feedback: Create a feedback-rich environment where honest and constructive feedback flows freely. Encourage open conversations that focus on growth and improvement. (We have a Power Hour on that HERE)
Say thank-you: Show appreciation for the efforts and contributions of your team members. A simple thank-you can go a long way in recognizing their hard work.
Be open: Foster open communication channels where team members feel comfortable expressing their ideas, concerns, and suggestions. Encourage an environment where everyone's voice is heard.
Ask for and listen to suggestions: Actively seek input from your team members. Their unique perspectives and insights can lead to innovative solutions and fresh ideas.
Throw the ball back: Empower your team members by asking how they would do things and what decision they would make rather than telling them yours. Give them the opportunity to take ownership and make decisions.
Actively develop people: Invest in the growth and development of your team members. Provide them with learning opportunities, mentorship, and coaching to enhance their skills and abilities.
Expect more: Set high expectations for your team members and communicate them clearly. Encourage them to gradually stretch their capabilities and strive for excellence.
Delegate: Trust your team members with important tasks and projects. Delegation not only frees up your time but also empowers them to take on new challenges and expand their skillset. Make sure that you match the level of delegation to the skill and will of each individual (we have a Power Hour session on that HERE!)
Trust and respect people: Build trust by demonstrating confidence in your team members' abilities. Treat everyone with respect, valuing their unique contributions and perspectives. (we also have a Power Hour on that HERE!)
Be prepared to accept failure: Encourage a culture where failure is viewed as a learning opportunity. Support your team members when they encounter setbacks and guide them towards growth.
Encourage career development: Support your team members' career aspirations by providing opportunities for growth, challenging assignments, and continuous learning (and we have a Power Hour on that too HERE!)
Monitor things: Keep an eye on progress and provide guidance when needed. Ensure that resources and support are available to help your team members succeed. You are still responsible for the work of the team.
Creating a workplace where individuals feel inspired, where their voices are heard, and their contributions valued isn't easy, but so worthwhile. That's the essence of empowering leadership. The impact is undeniable—a motivated and engaged workforce, a culture of innovation, and a future-proofed organisation. Our Session on Empowering Leadership will help leaders to start to adopt this style of leadership.
Learn more and download the free key points sheet, dive into the training materials, and unleash the power of empowerment within your team. Get ready to witness remarkable transformations and achieve extraordinary results.
This blog was written by artificial intelligence. What do you think?