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  • Writer's pictureJenn Donahue

Help Your Team Fully Step Into Their Power This Year

How can leaders help the individuals on their team step into their own power this year?

To start, you have to understand that each individual member of your team or organization is unique. Different people will need different things. Some people will need more help than others and it’s up to you to figure out the needs of your team.

The problem is, not all leaders know how to inspire, motivate, and empower their team to step into their own power.

When getting to know your team, it’s important to build trust. Once that trust is established, it’s much easier to communicate more openly and effectively with your team.

When an employee faces a problem, don’t come up with the answer or plan for them. Help them come up with the solution on their own. This can be really hard to do, especially if you can see the solution so clearly. However, it doesn’t benefit them (or you) to just give the answer away. When you help them to find the path to their own solution, you’re teaching them a process that they can use over and over to problem solve.

Decision makers, confident employees, and entire organizations create a powerful, unstoppable, and magnetic team.

Here are three ways you can help your team to find their own answers and feel confident in their role.

1. Understand What the Problem Is

I know what it’s like to jump to conclusions as a leader. Sometimes we think we know exactly what the problem is and want to be the first to point it out, but that isn’t always helpful to your team or employee. And, as much as we hate to admit it, sometimes we’re wrong!

It’s more effective to help the person struggling to untangle the issue and get to the problem themselves.

Here are some helpful questions to ask:

  1. Why do you think you’re stuck?

  2. What do you think is the root cause?

  3. What have you tried that’s working?

  4. What have you tried that’s not working?

  5. Is there anything you need to help solve this problem?

  6. What else can you do?

  7. What else can I do?

When you help people problem-solve on their own, it ends up freeing your time to work on things only you can do. This is huge!

An empowered team is able to act independently and come to you with problems they can’t solve. You’ll no longer spend valuable time solving every problem and you’ll be able to help them work through the challenges they are stuck on.

This makes your employees feel valued, trusted, and encouraged to make decisions, execute projects, and even empower others along the way. It also creates a harmonious work environment where the only problems that require your attention are the bigger ones that you have the power to solve.

When you take the time to help others find their own answers to the problem they are facing, it creates a workplace that people feel comfortable and confident in being a part of.

2. Be an Example of Accountability

It can be easy to blame others, especially when something goes wrong. As leaders, we can be quick to assume that it was someone’s fault, they didn’t listen, or they simply failed.

I remember when I was managing a team of sixteen in Alaska and a kid on my team got really hurt. I could have immediately blamed him and assumed that he must have not followed directions.

What I had failed to realize is that it wasn't his fault at all. I am the leader and I am responsible for the team. Instead of blaming him, I asked myself these helpful questions:

  1. What did I do to contribute to this situation?

  2. Is there something I could have done differently to avoid this incident?

  3. Could I have given clearer directions?

  4. Could I have been a better guide or leader?

  5. Did I not give enough?

  6. How could I have given more?

This helped me to realize how important it is to take accountability for my actions.

I went to my boss and took full ownership of my team’s actions. He understood and no one was fired. But someone could have really been hurt! And I knew it was up to me to make sure that didn’t happen again.

When you take ownership of your actions, it helps your team to do the same. You become a leader others want to follow and emulate. And when your team takes accountability for their actions, it builds trust, camaraderie, and a place where others feel safe to fail and try again.

And that type of leadership creates workplaces that people want to join.

3. Coaching and Mentorship

One of the best ways to help entire workforces feel empowered to trust and make their own decisions is through coaching and mentoring.

There are different types of coaching, but the goal remains the same: to help you discover how to get yourself to where you want to be.

Typically with coaching, you’d hire an external expert or team of experts to provide executive, organizational, or individual coaching to you and your employees. Coaching can create a lot of growth and even increase resiliency, especially during times of crisis.

Coaching can be a great gift to you or your team.

“Coaching is invaluable if an organization is to achieve its goals. It should be part of the continuous employee performance management by managers to maximize the potential of the employees.” - The Importance of Coaching in the Workplace and How to Do It

Mentorship, on the other hand, can happen all in-house. Mentorship facilitates positive relationships among employees, helps more junior employees grow into more senior positions, and guides mentees to their own success.

Both coaching and mentoring can create confidence in your employees and give them the learning opportunities to figure out answers on their own and grow through obstacles and challenges. Mentorship changed my life. As leaders, it’s our turn to change others’ lives.

4. Create Empowered Work Cultures

The greatest gift you can give the people on your team is the gift of figuring things out on their own. Never give them the answer; make them work through the process so that they can learn the process.

Trust me, I know it’s hard. And that’s where it requires an investment on your part. But hey, that’s why we’re at the top, right? To take care of the little guy… and everyone in between.

When you’re invested in the well-being of your people, it’s a lot easier to offer opportunities that help them grow and develop personally and professionally.

There is an old quote, “Give a man a fish, and he will be hungry again to-morrow; teach him to catch a fish, and he will be richer all his life.”

Help your employees create the internal systems and processes they need to thrive on their own and be there for them when they need support and guidance.

If you’d like to hear me speak more about this topic, reach out to me and let’s talk about how I can present a keynote at your next team or organizational event.


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