I have found that the single most important factor to influence and individual’s ability to reach their potential is their sense of self-empowerment. This is the difference between them feeling that they can make a difference or not, both in their own lives and to others. So managers who help individuals feel empowered, unlock and even expand their team’s potential.
Empowering managers create the conditions and opportunities for their team to use their initiative, pursue activities that they are good at, and make decisions about how they will produce work outcomes. But it takes a ‘hands off’ approach to managing, which takes trust in their people, and in their own ability to deal with whatever happens. So, self-empowered managers are empowering.
What can managers do to empower their people?
- Develop they own sense of self-empowerment – a belief that you make the difference. This requires an internal locus of control and a conviction that you are responsible for your team’s performance.
- Provide crystal clear vision, direction and expectations: Make sure everyone understands where they should be heading, and how they individually need to get there.
- Create opportunities for each individual to work to their strengths, and continually develop these strengths
- Do not tell people how to do their jobs. Instead, provide regular feedback on results and mentoring so they can develop their own capacity to self-manage
- Allow and expect your team members to make decisions about how they achieve their work, and how they deal with issues that invariably crop up.
- Recognise and reward initiative.
Where do you need to start to become a more empowering manager? If you are not sure, contact me.