This is day 9 of my 10 day look at the 10 chapters of "Becoming a Person of Influence: How to Positively Impact the Lives of Others" by John C. Maxwell and Jim Dornan. Tomorrow I'll include a link where you can purchase the book for yourself.
Chapter 9: A Person of Influence Empowers People
"Techniques don't produce quality products or pick up the garbage on time; people do, people who care, people who are treated as creatively contributing adults." - Tom PetersEmpowering people allows them to excel to their potential. When you trust them with a decision and back them up, you will achieve more than when you simply make all the decisions yourself. This only works when you have
- position (if you lead, you can give permission. if you're not leading, it's simply encouragement)
- relationship (you need to have a bond with them so that they can act knowing your trust in them is genuine)
- respect (when you believe in people, care about them and trust them, they know it)
- commitment (it's not always easy, but you must be committed and consistent in order for others to venture out)
- attitude (you must be ready to give something up)
1. Evaluate them - what level of empowerment is appropriate? Are they ready for big moves, or should you start with smaller moves?
2. Model for them - show them the work ethic and attitude you want to see in them. Include them in your decision making. Help them to understand how you approach situations. This will allow you to step back and see them carry on.
3. Give them permission to succeed - not everyone believes they can succeed. They need to know you expect it, that you're rooting for them, that you're celebrating when they do, and that you're publicly giving them credit. (Conversely, they should know that they have permission to fail and that they’ll be supported and not hung out to dry.)
4. Transfer authority to them - not just delegating tasks, but providing them the tools and opportunity to influence and make decisions. If you've modeled the process well and given them the appropriate level, they will succeed as you expect.
5. Publicly Show Your Confidence in Them - You're not just telling them you expect them to succeed, you're telling others that you expect this person to succeed and be taken to have the same authority (in this context) as they would afford you.
6. Supply them with Feedback - they may not immediately succeed. They need to know when they fail and they need to know specifically why so they can adjust for the next run at it. Just continue to make sure you still believe in them and expect them to succeed.
7. Release Them to Continue on Their Own - They should feel comfortable, empowered and equipped to work independently. They should know that you will support them and be there to offer guidance/counsel should you seek it, but they should not feel it necessary to run every little detail past them. They should understand the challenge/charge and it should be neither too easy nor too difficult.
“It’s no longer good enough for a manager to make sure that everybody has something to do and is producing. Today, all employees must ‘buy in’ and take ownership of everything they’re doing.” - Farzin Madjidi, Program Liaison, City of Los AngelesGive others more than just something to do. (see specific checklist in book)