Aimee O'Leary
Written by
Aimee O'Leary

We believe one of the core traits of Inspiring leaders is that they Empower their people. But the term ’empowerment’ is often misunderstood. Empowering your people doesn’t mean you step away completely and let them figure it out alone. It means actively coaching, asking the right questions, and facilitating growth and development.

In this article Jarret Jackson explains how to empower your team. It’s all about leaning in, not stepping away.

From the Article: 

Without training or guidance on how to empower […] managers often simply stop providing direction and let employees figure out issues themselves. The problem: This rarely works. If employees don’t fundamentally believe that they should change and have clarity on what it is they are supposed to change, they can’t. Telling employees to figure it out on their may only slow down the learning and performance process – because employees aren’t necessarily learning.

The “neglect” approach creates a feedback loop that is very difficult to break. Employees who don’t know what to do may ask for help. But when they don’t get a clear, direct answer (like they are used to) they simply resort to past behavior. It’s a proven path that reflects a fear-based response; that is the opposite of empowerment.

Empowering employees means asking good, meaty questions that prompt them to think through the problem. For example, rather than saying: “The sales team needs to boost their numbers,” ask them and their leadership, “How can your team help increase sales by 3% in the next three-to-six months?” In this way, managers and leaders have a very different role: helping to define and shape the problem, so that a team is empowered to develop a solution. The destination is agreed upon, but the path to get there has yet to be paved. (The more tangible and measurable the goal, the more likely it will be achieved.)

Get the full article online: How To Empower Your Team: It’s All About Leaning In, Not Stepping Away.

Make sure to explore Inspiring Workplace’s other content and insights about leadership.


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