Yesterday I sent an email to my clients entitled – Engaging and Empowering Leadership, letting them know about a workshop to develop Facilitative Leadership skills – Group Facilitation Methods.
I received some valuable feedback I’d like to share with you that relates to empowerment.
The idea of empowerment and giving staff decision making power creates fear in leaders, especially in a culture where there is a high level of risk aversion. When the Canadian government introduced the Accountability Act several year ago, the impact this had was it created a work environment where there was a low tolerance for risk. This moved control for decision making to the top of organizations.
Taking away decision making power has several effects. It creates an environment of control which is potential limiting to people’s desire to lead and contribute, share ideas, be creative and innovative. When a leader imposes their will over others, it takes away the others’ will power and sense of responsibility.
In a high performing workplace culture, leaders want staff to take ownership and responsibility for identifying problems and solving them. How can a leader expect this behaviour if they have taken away the will power and ability to take ownership and responsibility for making decisions?
To create high performing cultures, leaders must live the values they wish to see. If they want people to take ownership and responsibility they need to let go of control. With a fear of empowerment there will be low employee engagement, low productivity, low morale and low performance.
To improve performance, employees need to be engaged and empowered to make decisions for the things they have control over. It takes conscious leadership to reflect and take ownership for the limiting values and behaviours being imposed on staff.
Organizational transformation begins with the personal transformation of the leaders. Organizations don’t transform, people do
So as a leader, open your door and invite staff to share their valuable ideas. Being a good listener is a powerful facilitative leadership competency. It make people feel appreciated and you learn a lot from them. We were given two ears and one mouth for a reason. Your people are the ones doing the work and have valuable experience and knowledge to share that can improve performance. When they are performing and contributing their full potential, the whole organization benefits.
Be sure to visit our Resource Center for valuable leadership development resources
To find out what your personal values are that empower you to higher performance and productivity, take a Free Personal Values Assessment.
To learn how well aligned you are with the culture in your organization contact us for an – Individual Values Assessment
To learn how to map, measure and manage the culture of your team or organization with our Culture Value Assessment for Teams and Organizations.
With 30 years in business transformation working with organizations, Joanna’s passion lies in working with leaders, facilitating active participation in organizational change, developing resourceful teams and aligning strategic objectives. Her goal is to help organizations become high performing and values-driven, where people take ownership, build commitment and bridge communication gaps. As CEO of the Culture Leadership Group, she ensures successful transformation from concept through to implementation.