This word has been around for a long time, but has recently picked up steam: “empowerment”. The word has benefits that can be applied to any relationship, whether between friends, family members, children and parents, or business leaders and employees.
The next time you’re working on a project with someone else, try to empower them! This article will share five ways you can empower someone. Empowering someone else allows you to become a more positive influence for others, and improves your mental health as you will slowly and eventually recognise the impact of your words and actions on someone else. More often than not, the person who empowers does not completely feel the impact but the impact for the receiver is often larger than envisioned.
1 ASK RIGHT QUESTIONS
The first step in empowering someone else is actually asking the right questions.
If you ask questions that are too broad, you might end up in a position where you’re answering the direct question indirectly. Avoid asking questions like “What do you want to do?” or “What do you want to be when you grow up?” as these questions are too vague. These questions end the conversation and do not lead to any further advancements, it is also unable to allow you to ascertain if you’ve helped.
Instead, ask questions that are actionable such as “What do you need me to do to help you succeed?” or “What skills do you need to become successful?”. These questions show that you are open to sharing your resources and time, reflecting your willingness to help.
This is the question that you should ask the person you hope to empower. People often put in a lot of time and effort to try and achieve their goals. If you hope to guide them towards their goals, you should ask them about their approach towards these goals and offer guidance if you can.
2 GET THEM EXCITED
Don’t be a buzzkill. Everyone is motivated by something, but some might need a little help finding it. In some other cases, however, it may be staring you right in the face.
If you talk to someone and realize they want to prove themselves to someone else, their boss, for example, make it crystal clear that you see the skills that they have, and the ways that you think you can help.
Do this by investing some time upfront. Acknowledge their strengths and potential and then set a plan and a timeframe. We all love instant gratification, and we’re motivated by goals that we can and believe we will achieve.
3 BE AN EXAMPLE
If you want someone else to feel empowered, you have to do it yourself. You have to set the tone, let people know what you expect, and walk the walk. As the leader, you need to lead by example, and you need to empower your team to create the culture you want to see. You can do that in several ways, this and the next portion will cover some examples for the workplace and school:
- Tell them what you want.
The best superiors, bosses at work or teachers constantly tell your employees or students exactly what you expect of them. Be clear and precise about your objectives, and about what you want them to do, along with the reasoning behind it. For example, if you want to improve the quality of content on your website, let your team know about your goals, and encourage them to make it happen. If you plan for your students to complete a project, be clear of the goals and way to go about it.
2.Show them what you expect.
As an example, you might be working with a designer to update your website. Showing your designer how you expect your web pages to look will give them the ability to build the site you want. As a teacher, showing your students the final grading rubric would be helpful to establish the basis of the quality you expect from their project.
3.Let them know how they’re doing.
Give your team regular feedback. Thank them for doing a good job, and let them know what you’re happy about. Stay in regular contact with your team, especially in remote working, and use that time to give them positive feedback. In another article, we highlight ways to show you care. As a teacher, empower through positive encouragement instead of chiding and a focus on the end goal, even if your students make repetitive mistakes.
4 OFFER A CLEAR PATH.
When you empower someone, you give them clear direction on what they need to do. You’re giving them goals, letting them know how they’re doing, and showing them what you expect—all so they can work towards their own goals.
1.Provide goal clarity.
Give direct goals and expectations. For example, you might tell your designer that you want your website to be user-friendly and to have a clear call-to-action on every page. You might tell your copywriter that your newsletter needs to feature the latest industry trends, along with interesting facts and figures. As a teacher, you may let the students know of the end product that you expect, sometimes with an assessment rubric to guide their thought process.
2.Tell them how they’re doing.
Keep your team informed about how they’re doing. You can meet with them regularly, or you can send them regular updates. Show them what you expect. Show your team what you expect of them. Are they on the right path? Do they need to refine their work? Let them know kindly without venting your frustration as bad criticism might discourage the team from taking calculated risks for improvement in the future.
We all love a little encouragement. It doesn’t take much to boost someone’s ego or set them up with a positive mindset. We can all use a pep talk now and again.
Encourage your colleague by telling them what you see as their greatest strengths. If they’re feeling down about their current role, remind them of the skills they have and the areas they are able to or have contributed to.
CONCLUSION: EMPOWERMENT MATTERS
In today’s pandemic situation where everyone is trying to acclimatise to the new normal, it is important to keep things positive. You might not know if someone is facing a tough situation at home that they have not shared so it is important to focus on empowerment or at the very least encouragement and positive energy over non-constructive criticism or using negative tones such as frustration and anger.
Empowering someone can motivate them to do better and make the environment and your own character better. On the other hand, if you adopt a more aggressive approach with underlying tones of frustration during feedback, the person might feel worse about the quality of their work and hold back on their creativity, limiting the speed of improvement of your company, organisation and their own learning curve.