How You Can Empower Your 80 Percent – Part 3
How to Identify Your Organization's 80 Percent &
How You Can Empower Them
So far in this series we've learned how to identify the top and bottom ten percent of your team, how to recognize the middle eighty percent, and seen why they're so valuable to your organization's success. Now let's move the conversation to how you can empower your eighty percent.
Empower your team by educating them. Train them on new skills, new technology and new ways of doing things. Show them your list of books to read. If you take the time to educate your people, you're showing them that you value them. If you didn't value them, why would you care if they had the ability to perform their given roles well? By showing them that you care enough about their success that you will train them towards mastery of their craft, you're showing them that they have potential. Humans love to master things; we learn an instrument, we practice golfing on the weekends and we work very hard to be good at the things we do. Provide further education to your team and you will empower them; check out the EmpoweredU part of our website for a good place to start; and John C. Maxwell's blog is a current favorite.
Communication with your team is not only a requirement of good leadership but it's essential to leading and empowering them. How close would you be with your family if you never talked to them? How much trust would they have in you if you never communicated with them other than to tell them what decisions you've made? The same thing goes with your team and those you lead. Communication, unlike dictation, is a two-way street. Dictators dictate and leaders communicate. By communicating with your team you're showing them that you value their opinions and that you're “in it” with them. Really hear your people; hear not only their concerns but hear their hopes and dreams as well. Then help them achieve them.
Empower those you lead by relating to them. Show them your human side. Would you like it if tasks and duties were simply emailed to you once a week? Probably not. The people you lead need to know that you have challenges too. They need to know that you don't have all of the answers and that you too need advisers to make decisions. Share your interests with your people, show them why you work and what you're passionate about. If golfing is your favorite hobby or if you're passionate about cooking, share that with your team. If your people accept you as a person, they'll be more likely to trust you as a leader. Relate to your people because leadership is about people.
4: Power to choose
Giving the power of choice to those you lead is an easy but significant way to empower them. Show them that you trust their judgement and wisdom by giving them a say in how you get to the results. If people have a stake in the team's success, they'll be more likely to put forth great effort to achieve it. You don't have to give them free rein, but people feel empowered when they have a choice.
5: Help others
People feel empowered when they're able to help those around them. By helping others, people show that they have value and strength as individuals. The teamwork mindset fosters an environment where people help other people. People feel empowered when they're able to work with a team toward achieving a common goal.
6: Overcome Challenges
Overcoming obstacles and achieving goals are two of the best ways to empower your people. In the comments below you'll see that many people said that they felt empowered when they overcame a challenge or shared their successful experiences to help others. If you have a goal to reach and you have to overcome adversity to reach it, when your day of success comes it will be that much sweeter. Teamwork gets us places we never thought possible and none of us is as good as all of us. Give your people a challenge to overcome and you'll start building a team of people who can work together to achieve more than they'd imagined. After all, if you get to the top without someone to share it with, what's the point? No one has ever climbed Mount Everest alone.
Don't take my word for it; see the comments our readers have made when asked: What empowers you?
“I feel empowered when I feel like I have control over my future, when I have a say in the matter and when my voice is heard.”
“I feel empowered when others recognize my successes.”
“When I lose. It motivates me to strive for more.”
“When I overcome a struggle. “
“When I work with my friends.”
“When I'm able to ignore the naysayers and just continue following what my spirit is leading/telling me to do.”
“I feel empowered when the odds are stacked against me.”
“When I am able to help someone reach their potential.”
“When I find solutions to difficult problems and can handle them competently.”
A huge thank you to everyone who opened up and shared about when you feel empowered! I appreciate your insights and hope we can all feel empowered. Please share your thoughts, ideas and comments below. I look forward to reading them!