I am not a big fan of “delegation.” Almost every leader delegates work; few leaders truly empower other leaders. There’s a clear difference. To delegate to someone means to give them a task. To empower someone means to give them power. Give your leaders power to make decisions! Don’t make them responsible for the outcome if you won’t give them the authority to make decisions. Never penalize a leader for making a mistake. You will paralyze the organization. When, (not if), they make a mistake, coach them through it rather than scold them for it. Over time, they will make better decisions, become a stronger leader, and build a stronger organization that doesn’t all rest on you. Empowerment produces freedom! Here are:
3 Coaching Conversations That Empower Others:
1. Help them THINK like you THINK.
Leaders think more globally than most team members. For a few this is natural. For most, they need to hear you verbalize all of the variables at play when you make a decision. Articulate all of your thoughts, potential outcomes and relational equity at stake with each decision. Allowing them inside your head elevates their thinking. One area to expound on here are the ripple effects organizationally for a decision they may see as a “no brainer.”
2. Help them SEE what you SEE.
Spend time helping those you wish to empower to have your vision. Essentially, the hard work of an empowering leader is wrapping words around your worldview. Empowerment takes ample time because you need to allow situations to arise in order to process it with those you’re pouring in to. Expound on how you view others leadership, communication styles, body language and values. These small details empower others with a sense of how you see the world around you.
3. Help them RESPOND like you would RESPOND.
Empowering leadership breaks down first when a leader sees someone “react” rather than, what they consider, properly “respond.” The difference in the two erodes trust. Know the problem with that? Most leaders never articulate what they believe is the difference between a reaction versus a response. Empowering leadership demands you express this. Highlight healthy responses. Call out unhealthy reactions. In doing so you’re empowering others with knowledge to move quickly.