Empower Your Team To Be Their Best

Photo by Vincent van Zalinge on Unsplash

Are you ready to have a more positive impact on those you lead? Would you like to be the one who empowers others to be their best? When good leaders are effectively empowering their team, their lives are easier and their team is happier. When teams are empowered, leaders don’t spend nearly as much time checking up on team members, putting out fires, or lighting fires under people who are not motivated.

In the Sunday Times a couple of weeks ago, Jane Geraghty, president of the brand consultancy Landor Associates, commented on leadership saying: “The biggest thing for me is being honest about what I can’t do. I have stopped trying to be the hero at everything. Instead I focus on what I think I do best and get out of the way of my team when their skills are more needed”. However, the push-me pull-you pressures of work doesn’t make Geraghty’s sage advice easy to follow, especially for those working in SMEs and rapidly growing organisations. Often resources are limited and the work endless, so it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Helping clients look at where they are spending their time is a vital first step in creating a new and smarter way of working. As the saying goes: “If you continue to do what you have always done, you will continue to get what you have always gotten!”. It takes time, practice and patience to adopt a new way of working but the effort is worthwhile. So here are my four tips to empower your team to be the best.

1) Don’t Get Into the Nitty Gritty

Once broad goals and objectives are set with specific time frames and key results are outlined, leave your team to get on with it.

2) Listen to Your Team

Cultivate the ability to listen to your team especially the difficult stuff. Most of the time they know better as they are closer to the ‘beating heart’ of the business. If you take all the decisions and just issue orders, you will have robots in the guise of managers because you have killed their initiative.

3) Communicate Consistently Both the Good and the Bad

It’s easy to communicate when times are good – although you’d be surprised how many leaders don’t. But communicating when things get tough… most people run a mile. Not because they fear being the bearer of bad news (although I expect this is the case for some) but because they don’t feel the receiver is resourceful enough to receive it. So by not sharing the news they believe the team won’t know what’s happening. In my experience, teams are highly attuned to the mood of the business and by not being honest they feel at best irritated and at worst betrayed. By being honest with staff about the ups and downs of the business and listening to their thoughts and concerns, you are able to harness their creativity – which just might help turn things around.

4) Decentralise Decision Making

Unless your team is able to make mistakes and learn from them, you will never be able to develop expertise through experience. Centralising decision making is also the surest method to kill your business growth. The key to managing effectively is to empower people across the management structure so that they feel ownership and responsibility. When people feel empowered, they will be at their best and you will get the best results from them. When your team is running smoothly and each person feels empowered to do their own thing, it frees you up to do what you’re supposed to be doing – which is to be the best leader you can be.

Do you need help getting out of your own way? Are you fed up of always getting the same results and would rather have different results for you and your team. If this sounds like you, then email me to arrange a consultation. You’ll be a better leader already for taking the first step.