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Becoming a Person Centred Leader Part 9: Tips on Enabling People and Teams to Accomplish Things

The key word here is enable.

One of my clients put it very well this week when she said that when a change is required she believes that her team are the best people to work out the best way to implement it because they know what is required of them better than she does. As a result, she doesn’t tell them how to do it, she enables them to do find, test and determine solutions for themselves.  By doing this she is enabling to them to accomplish things.

So enabling provides the opportunity for people to practice autonomy and through autonomy people own the results of their work and feel a sense of achievement.

So how can we do this? As leaders how can we enable people to accomplish things?

  • Provide opportunities – delegate. Give clear information of the outcomes you are looking for and allow your team to work out the ‘how’ especially if they don’t have any control over the ‘what’.
  • Foster a culture of creativity by asking for ideas and input and at the same time recognise that sometimes ideas, solutions and initiatives don’t work out. Accept and share that failure is an opportunity for learning. Be clear with yourself and your team about the level of risk you are comfortable with them taking and when they make mistakes, enable them to learn from them.
  • Stop solving team member’s problems for them (we all do this sometimes!). Advice rarely works especially for complex issues. Instead use coaching skills – how and what questions to help them find their own answers. Solving a tricky problem is an accomplishment. Some questions you could use are:
    • How would you like it to be?
    • What have you tried so far?
    • If you were to do it differently, how would it feel?
    • If you could change this and get results, how would that be?
    • What would be the most important reason for changing or solving this?
    • If someone was really great at coming up with solutions, what would they suggest?
    • How could you turn this around?
  • And another client helps her staff to see solutions by telling stories from her own experience – very different from giving advice and works really well.
  • And finally when people do accomplish things, remember to acknowledge them and help them celebrate. Sometimes we can all get so focused on the future we may not notice what we have accomplished as we begin to move towards the next thing (see blog post on acknowledgement

Thanks again for reading my blog and thanks to my wonderful clients for being my inspiration!

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