JOEL A. GARFINKLE is recognized as one of the top 50 coaches in the U.S., having worked with many of the world’s leading companies. He is the author of seven books, including Getting Ahead: Three Steps to Take Your Career to the Next Level. View his books and FREE articles at his Executive Coaching Services website. You can also subscribe to his Executive Leadership newsletter and receive the FREE e-book, 40 Proven Strategies to Get Promoted Now!”
Want to be a better boss, a respected leader, and an admired mentor to the people under you? Once you’ve climbed the ladder to get to the top you understand that being a leader comes with responsibility. Empowering the people under you with the same responsibility can help you capitalize on your employees’ skills and bring out your team’s true potential.
Mentor and teacher, Booker T. Washington, says it best in his autobiography as he stresses the importance of empowering individuals: ”Few things help an individual more than to place responsibility upon him and to let him know that you trust him. . . Every individual responds to conﬁdence.”
How can you influence downward to your employees, staff and the people you supervise?
1. Trust your people with important tasks and giving them the power to make decisions. This will help develop effective leaders in your company. By demonstrating that you value their opinions, you motivate them to genuinely do more and push them to believe in themselves.
2. Encourage your staff to come up with solutions to problems. Articulate your confidence in your people and provide them with the tools they need to solve the problem, such as articles on leadership skills. By doing this, you have not only empowered your employees to become solution creators but have also made your entire team more productive at the same time.
3. Leverage employee mistakes for learning opportunities. As a leader, you’ve experienced success and failure to get to the top. You understand that both are equally valuable experiences. In light of this, embrace the mistakes that your employees make and ask them if they were to handle the task again what they would’ve done differently. Your staff will feel increasingly empowered, learn to trust their own abilities and will NOT be apprehensive coming to you when they want to try out a creative new idea. And we all know that ideas are the lifeline for any business, big or small.
By empowering your employees and instilling confidence in them, you give them the opportunity to not only experience self-growth for themselves but you can now have more free time to focus on the more important areas of your business like generating leads, meeting with clients, and impacting your bottom line.
Downward influence is the missing key to help maximize and unleash your team’s potential. You’re essentially providing them with the tools and support they need to grow the business in the direction you see it going and at the same time you’re also letting them grow with the business as they go along. It really is a win-win for all!