In the words of David Gergen, author of Eyewitness to Power, “At the heart of leadership is the leader’s relationship with followers. People will entrust their hopes and dreams to another person only if they think the other is a reliable vessel.”
Gone are the days when leadership was simply the exertion of power over others, today the best leaders are those who empower others to step up and lead.
When you break out of the traditional mind-set of a leader and a follower, it can help you create stronger bonds with your employees. An empowering leader creates an atmosphere where others can work independently and feel responsible enough to participate in the decision-making. It is an environment in which a lot more can be achieved than was originally thought possible.
While there isn’t just one recipe or one ‘correct way’ that you can empower others, an empowering leader would continually look at new opportunities to collectively accomplish company goals.
Some traits that help you identify a good leader
Treats others as equals
A good leader is someone who gives equal attention to every person he meets. Being authentic in your interactions empowers others to have authentic interactions as well.
Active listening is a very important quality in a leader because it makes others feel like they are valued, giving them the confidence to make more contributions in the workplace.
Asks for advice
A good leader understands that feedback and advice are pivotal tools to connecting with others and understanding their point of view.
Shares personal stories
When a leader is willing to be vulnerable and share his own personal stories and experiences, it facilitates a culture of honest sharing among others as well.
Works together towards goals
An empowering leader realises that the entire organisation needs to be aligned towards the company’s goals, in order to work in harmony towards achieving them.
Some ways you can empower your employees
To empower others is to be supportive, recognise success, have faith in your employees and take responsibility. When your employees feel empowered, they are more motivated and in a better space to learn and deal with stress. As a result, the organisation as a whole, functions in a more coordinated manner.
Encourage open communication
In an organisation where the top-down management communication model is practised, employees feel like they lack a direct channel to make an impact. Give your employees a platform to voice their feedback and opinions. Make sure that their input is valued even if you decide to go a different way.
A great way to make a difference to the productivity within an organisation is by appreciating employees that are making an effort towards self-improvement. Acknowledge and appreciate their efforts and also provide training and development programs where possible. This would provide them with an opportunity to apply their newly-learned skills.
Clearly define roles
Clearly defining roles helps employees to understand what is expected of them. It also helps them to coordinate with other team members and take responsibility and be accountable for their own tasks. This impacts the overall productivity of the team and the organisation.
Showing your employees that you trust their ability to make independent decisions goes a long way towards ensuring that you are empowering them. While they may stumble initially, this is a great learning tool and helps them build confidence in themselves and their colleagues.
Appreciate their efforts
The best employees don’t just work for a pay check, they need a greater level of satisfaction from their job. Feeling appreciated and knowing that their hard work is valued, helps employees perform better. Empowered employees know that they are valued by their peers and take pride in their jobs.
If you are a service provider in the areas of leadership and development, then Expedite Consulting can provide you with exciting opportunities to showcase your services and offerings to senior business and HR leaders. For more details, get in touch with email@example.com.