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Leadership Empowerment Stage One – Sharing Information

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In the last article, we discussed the importance of empowering your team, and touched on the three distinct stages you can employ to achieve this. This article looks in more detail at the first stage.

The first stage to empowerment is to share information with everyone in your team. It’s as simple as that. If you don’t share information, then how is anybody going to feel that they have any power?

If you tell somebody to do something without explaining why they need to do it, then you deny them understanding the purpose of what they are doing. Without information, people cannot act responsibly. People with information are compelled to act responsibly. 

Every leader wants responsible, trustworthy people on their team. How do you go about developing these qualities? By exhibiting those qualities yourself, through sharing information. 

The hot button here is trusting people. In order to share information, you must trust people with that information. You have to know that sometimes people will not prove to be worthy of that trust, and will take advantage of the information you share to serve their own needs. Even so, you can’t live in fear of this happening [1].

If you want to progress, if you want to be entrepreneurial, if you want to live with purpose and passion, then you have to be open. The critical thing is to let people know and understand the current situation of your business. 

At the same time as letting them know where you are, you need to let them know your vision for that business. Paint them a vivid picture of where you want your business to go. Let them know that you want them to be a part of that plan, and ask for their input on how you can best grow the business together.

This last point is the key. Above all, you want your team to share their ideas and suggestions on how they can help, and what they can do to make it happen. This is where they become truly empowered. 

However, even if they don’t have any suggestions or solutions, you must still involve them. Just because they take more of a backseat, it doesn’t mean that they don’t appreciate you sharing with them. Sometimes people are just happy and comfortable to get on with things without feeling they need to add to the vision, but they will still feel valued by you when they are included in that vision [2].

Through all of this, you show that you trust your team, and that you can be trusted too.

In the next article, we will look at Stage Two – Creating Autonomy Through Setting Boundaries.

Kristian Livolsi

References

1. Marques, J. and Dhiman, S. (2017). Leadership today. Springer, p.21.

2. Sesp.northwestern.edu. (2018). Knowledge Sharing: Leveraging Trust and Leadership to Increase Team Performance Northwestern University | School of Education & Social Policy. [online] Available at: https://www.sesp.northwestern.edu/masters-learning-and-organizational-change/knowledge-lens/stories/2012/knowledge-sharing-leveraging-trust-and-leadership-to-increase-team-performance.html [Accessed 24 Nov. 2018].

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