“Empowering” is a current buzz word and is a prime topic in the blog world. Empowering is defined as: to give power or authority, to authorize, to enable or permit. I have been a leader, manager, teacher or instructor most of my life. My greatest satisfaction is sharing my life in order to improve or instruct others. The greatest satisfaction of most teachers is when others take what they have been taught and inculcate it into their lives. That’s what it means to relinquish leadership.
Empowering takes on many different looks and styles, and people can be empowered through a variety of ways. This includes a meaningful conversation, a story, a video, etc.
Empowerment occurs when others under our leadership are inspired to take a new course of action, or be rejuvenated with new passion to continue their course or journey. Empowerment also occurs when a new skill is learned or someone receives new or additional authority. This type of empowerment provides the opportunity for young leaders to expand their leadership capacity.
How to empower others
1. Coach rather than teach.
A few years ago, the main strategy for mentoring and counseling others was to give them your best advice. In the last few years, we have come to realize there is a better method. This new style of training has been reinforced from leaders in the coaching industry. Effective coaches have taught us to coach others in discovering what’s inside of them, rather than to tell them what’s inside us. This method has proven to be both efficient and effective in empowering others.
2. Give responsibility.
Some might define this as delegation. I am using the word responsibility for those ready to be further developed in leadership, but not prepared for permanent delegation. In other words, when we give young or undeveloped leaders temporary responsibility, it sets them up for success and empowerment.