Empowering Teams & Leaders
A recent dream spoke to me about leadership. In this dream, I was a member of a good-natured team of life-loving characters. Isn't this typical of most of us in life and how we want to experience our lives? I believe it is. With performance being such an issue to sustain a business and create profit-margins, a great deal of stress is experienced at the supervisory level when performance falls below the line. In efforts to motivate, some supervisors will try a variety of tactics in order to ellicit the support they need from the team to keep up the pace. Are tactics really the answer though?
Leaders, like members of the team, also want to feel connected; a part of the team or community. It's a lonely place as leader. If a supervisor is between upper-management and the workforce, they're in a vulnerable and isolated place if upper-management is less than supportive. It has happened where they are raked over the coals and held accountable for a teams lack of performance. Some managers in my past have been the buffer zone protecting the team from the flak from above. Other managers aren't so kind or more accurately put, as capable. They react out of fear and desperation. They need help.
As a leader, the best you can do is to mentor the staff. Create the team and the incentives. Don't bribe though as this will dig you into a deeper hole. Where there are problem areas, get involved in conversation. Talk to the individual(s) in private, seeking their input, their issues, and ask their advice for how things can be improved. Watch them respond when you create a safe environment for their feedback and solutions to issues that are holding the team back. If you don't have the answers, ask them for the answers.
This reminds me of an engineer I know. Engineers, smart and creative by nature and study, sometimes think they have all the answers and design solutions on paper feeling certain that they've thought of everything. This particular engineer, as a young man, made it a point to venture out onto the shop floor to speak with the skilled labour involved with the practical hands-on. Sharing his ideas with them, seeking their input and suggestions, his solutions proved far more effective, sound, and delivered higher quality than when done independent of any feedback.
It's the same in most workshop situations. Facilitators are the leaders of a workshop. They are the experts; but are they really? As the expert in imparting a particular topic, they will present material and lead the group in education around a theme. Given the diversity, creativity, and intelligence of the group, the Facilitator will encounter excellent questions that they are unable to answer. A Facilitator doesn't seek to answer all the questions though. They turn the question back to the group and ellicit discussion and ideas from the participants.
Powerful synergy is created. Belonging is experienced. Inclusiveness creates greater participation and ownership of outcomes. Whether you're a leader or a team-member, you can contribute through the empowerment you give and create for one another. Give it a try.
Lee Down is a Professional Coach, Trainer/Facilitator, Speaker, & Writer of One Man Can Human Capital Development that focuses on relationships, the key foundation to success in business and life. With more than 15 years professional experience and a thirst for truth and understanding, he focuses on the human spirit and human capacity.
Working with clients, he facilitates the breaking down of beliefs, barriers or obstacles that bring clients forward on their journey of discovery with spirit, energy, abundance, passion and purpose, integrating the mind and body experience. Working with business, he brings visionary leadership and relationship skills to the forefront that witnesses an empowered culture evolve and develop directly impacting the improvement to the bottom-line.
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