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Promoting Wellbeing Through Leadership: 5 Ways to Enable People to Accomplish Things

Being engaged in what you are doing and consistently achieving and accomplishing things are important factors in feeling a sense of wellbeing (Martin Seligman in Flourish, 2011). And promoting wellbeing is an important aspect of Person Centred Leadership.

So how can we do this? As leaders how can we enable people to accomplish things? Here are some ideas.

  1. 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:
  2. 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.
  3. Provide opportunities through delegation. Give clear information of the outcomes you are looking for (including timeframes), ensure the individuals and the team has the required capabilities and allow your team to work out the ‘how’. This is especially important if they don’t have any control over the ‘what’.
    • How would you like it to be?
    • What have you tried so far?
    • What did you learn from the things that have gone right and wrong?
    • What approach might ….. take? (choose someone with a completely different approach as an example)
    • If you could change this and get results, what would you be doing differently?
    • 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 can you turn this around?
  4. Tell stories from your own experience – very different from giving advice and this works really well.
  5. Notice: 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 and the opportunity for feeling a sense of wellbeing is missed!


One of my clients put it very well 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. Enabling provides the opportunity for people to practice autonomy and through autonomy people own the results of their work and feel a sense of accomplishment and achievement.

If you would like to learn more about wellbeing and how to experience more of it across your life, please check out my 6 week online course: Lead Yourself to Wellbeing in under 15 minutes a day!

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