Leaders who adopt a more inspiring style often empower others to perform above and beyond what is expected of them.

People want guidance, not rhetoric; they need to know what the plan of action is and how it will be implemented. They want to be given the responsibility to help solve the problem and the authority to act on it.” – Howard Schultz, Starbucks

An empowered team member will be more likely to find purpose in their work, which, in turn, can enhance their performance, develop a state of flow, encourage innovative ideas and initiative-taking, and reduce turnover.

Creating a culture of empowerment can positively impact high performance in others by giving them the freedom to define their work, their deliverables, and the way they measure success.

Here are some practical tips you can practice to be the empowering leader you aspire to be:

  1. Provide suitable support and guidance – ask your team members what you can do to better support and guide them.
  2. Provide constructive feedback on behaviour and performance – focus on describing behaviours you have observed rather than judging them as good or bad, right or wrong.
  3. Help team members understand their purpose and contribution to the organisation – explain how the role the team member is performing serves the vision/mission and strategy of the organisation. Highlight and emphasise critical areas.
  4. Notice inappropriate behaviour in others and respond effectively – seek others’ feedback on this topic, ask for specific examples and ask what you could be doing differently.
  5. Maintain a positive work environment – ensure there is time and effort spent on the development of relationships among your team.
  6. Help facilitate team member development and career advancement – take a coaching and mentoring approach to developing others, and ask open questions about what the person would like to achieve, for example, “what results would you like to be achieving?”
  7. Recognise others’ hard work and achievements – wherever appropriate, take the time to personally thank your people for their hard work and explicitly praise them for their achievements.

Fundamentally, leadership is about facilitating the performance of others. As CEOs or aspiring CEOs, remember that people often learn and develop more with this type of leadership style, resulting in continuous enhancements to performance year on year.

Karl Grech coaches his clients to enhance how they connect, influence, and inspire others. Karl is an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) with the International Coaching Federation (ICF). He can be reached at [email protected] or visit www.karlgrech.com  to learn more.

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