Liberating leaders create a culture of empowerment and opportunity for others. Effectively empowering others involves a significant amount of time, skill, and intentionality. Here is an opportunity for you to think through three key skills required for empowering others and how you are doing with them — no doubt there are many more. As you read about these three skills, give yourself a 1-10 rating. (10: I have mastered this skill and do it consistently and intentionally. 1: I do not do this.)
Skill #1: I delegate meaningful work
It’s one thing to give people a task list for them to complete, it’s another to identify the strengths of others and assign them meaningful responsibilities. For others to feel empowered, you have to release them into work that has meaning and is at some level mission critical. Do that and they’ll soar.
On a scale of 1-10, how well do you delegate? Give yourself a number.
Skill #2: I encourage independent thinking
Some of you like being the answer man/woman. You like that people rely on your expertise and insight. No doubt you are a rock star. While that is important, those you are investing in will continue to rely on you until you stop being the answer man/woman and start forcing them to think and develop solutions on their own. Next time, give them the challenge of researching and solving the next project.
On a scale of 1-10, how well do you encourage independent thinking? Give yourself a number.
Skill #3: Asking open questions to force people to own their own reality
In tandem with skill #2, you can help those you are leading to feel empowered by listening and asking well placed questions. Be a catalyst for “a-ha” moments this week as you spend the extra time needed to ask critical questions. This transfers both responsibility and authority as they begin to view you less as the expert and more as an equipper.
On a scale of 1-10, how often do you ask open-ended questions? Give yourself a number.
Skill #1 — delegating — is the one I’m working on this week. Which one is it for you?