Whether you are leading a corporation or a conversation, feeling empowered and empowering others involves 5 simple steps. They incorporate concepts from books like The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Good to Great, Great by Choice, Switch, Decisive, The Empowerment Dynamic, The Power of Habit, Crucial Conversations, The Business of Belief, and many others. We have developed these for you to use whenever you are leading a process of change of any kind.
Using these steps will allow you to develop a vision for your company or craft a Facebook post. Whether you are determining which direction to take for a new commission structure or deciding which marketing plan would work best, these 5 steps will take you through a process that will empower you and your team to make the best decision possible and take the right actions at the right time with the right people for the right reasons.
The 5 steps to Empowering Leadership are:
They even sound simple, right? Don’t let them fool you though. You have not heard these before.
This week we’ll cover the first step, Knowledge, and each of the next 4 articles will take you through the questions or actions you need to take with each of the others.
START HERE: Knowledge. Ask yourself this question. “What do I need to know about this person, product, marketplace, challenge, obstacle, that I don’t know now in order to create the best outcome possible?” You don’t know everything. Guessing doesn’t count. Assuming doesn’t work. Start any situation by asking yourself questions to turn on your highest-level thinking. Ask others what they think you should be researching in order to gain the best outcome possible. Ask the people that might be involved in the process what they think needs to be researched in order for you to have the best information possible to start the process.
BE THIS: Patient. Gathering information to start the process off right is crucial. Be sure you are not running away from something instead of towards something. Running away is an anxiety induced response whereas exploring possibilities and designing your desired outcomes uses the CEO of your brain (your pre-frontal cortex). For some of my highly impulsive leaders you might want to simply set a rule that you are going to take a day or two in order to research 4-5 different things about what you are about to do in order to get enough information.
DO THIS: Look for information, not confirmation. By only talking to, or doing research with people and on sites that will confirm your existing knowledge you are not moving the ball forward or expanding your knowledge. The idea is to expand your knowledge about what you need to do. Expanding means talking to people that are smarter than you in that area and collecting unbiased data whenever possible.
So many times we start with our vision instead of collecting information that we can gain knowledge from. Here’s the difference. I had a client once that went all the way through medical school, internship and became a doctor only to find out that he hated being a physician. He did all of that work only to achieve a very unsatisfying accomplishment. He’s now a father of twins and owns a small business that allows him time to truly connect with people he is helping to obtain optimal health.
While the idea or thought is still a seed, research which ground it might be best planted on.