The definition of leadership means that you have influence. That influence can mean a lot of things but one thing that is clear is that a leader has the ability to impact how people feel about them and about themselves. If you make people feel afraid or weak, then they will act out of fear. If you make them feel accepted and empowered, then they will act out of confidence. Here are a few ways that you can not only empower your team but also allow them to truly feel empowered.
Creating Feelings of Empowerment
- Value the Input of Others – When your team can see that you value their input and that it has an impact on your decision, their feelings of empowerment will increase.
- Quit Micromanaging – When others feel like you don’t trust them to complete a project or task on their own, feelings of empowerment immediately drop. They will not feel confident to make decisions and get things done without you. This may seem more comfortable up front but in the long run it will hold you back from moving forward with freedom and confidence in the team underneath you.
- Listen and Follow-up – Listen to the concerns, ideas and thoughts of others and then bring it up again at another date. This will allow others to feel valued as a person and begin to see that you do care about what they are contributing.
- Delegate Big Things – When you begin to see that a team member’s ability is ready for a challenge, don’t hesitate to give it to them. Chances are they will deliver well and it will allow them to feel empowered like never before. Once you’ve gone there, you can do it more in the future and raise the level of expectation from that individual.
- Ask Empowering Questions:
- So, what should our next step be?
- What are some of the options?
- What are your ideas about this?
- How would you handle this?
- If you were the leader, what would you do with this?
- Let Others Make Mistakes and Address Them with Positivity – Your team has to know that it’s ok to make mistakes. Taking risks and making mistakes are a part of accomplishing great things. If they feel that you are going to punish them for messing up then they are likely to not step out and take a risk. Secondly, when they do fail at something, address it with grace and positivity. This will allow them to more easily get back up on their feet and feel empowered and confident to try again.