Leader, let me share one of the best things you can do to better empower your team.
And, in full disclosure, I’m the worst at this, but it’s something I continually strive to do better.
You want to fully empower your team?
Here’s what you do:
Release them from responsibility.
Whenever you can.
Often as leaders we handle a lot of information. Sometimes we do that with our team. Sometimes we dispense a lot of new ideas. If we are growing and learning personally, the team is often where we process our thoughts.
If it’s not their responsibility—let them know it’s not.
It sounds simple—but it’s huge.
You see, the team is always wondering.
What is the leader thinking here—as it relates to me?
What do you want me to do with that new idea?
How do you want me to help?
What’s my role going to be in this?
Are you going to hold me accountable for this?
Do you expect something from me here?
As leaders, we often process and present a lot of ideas, but sometimes we are just “thinking.” Sometimes we aren’t assigning anything—we are just exploring.
The more we can release the people trying to follow us, the more they can focus on things for which they are being held accountable. And, the more willing they will be to process new ideas with us.
Just tell them what you expect—or don’t expect. Say the words, “You are not responsible for this.” “I don’t expect anything from you on this.” “This is just for information.” And, mean it.
And, even better—create a healthy enough environment so people feel freedom to ask or challenge you when they don’t understand. Thanks.
Sounds simple. It’s huge.
This article originally appeared here.