Great Leaders Trust Their Teams
As a manager, it can be easy to think of all the things that can go wrong if you sit back, relinquish some control and let your team members take responsibility for their outcomes. What if they make a mistake? What if they lose an important customer or client? What if things don’t go exactly as you planned?
Check Your Ego at the Door and Learn From Your Team
While it’s good to consider the risks attached to the decision to delegate, it’s important to remember there is also a danger of exercising too much control and inhibiting your team’s ability to grow. In many ways, effective leadership is less about dictating but rather, as John Quincy Adams has said, “inspiring others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more”. By stepping back, you provide the opportunity for your team to step up.
Your Team is a True Reflection of You
Remember, you hired your team for a reason – presumably because each person brought some impressive skills and qualities to the table. Being a good leader is about drawing these strengths out and coordinating them to maximum effect for your business. So, rather than assuming you know everything, listen to your team, understand how they work best and give them the tools to allow their strengths to shine.
As Forbes contributor, Glen Llopis says, “Leaders must understand that in today’s new workplace, there does not exist a single recipe to encourage employees to perform better. Rather, it’s about how to maximise the ingredients in order to create hundreds of recipes that are customised and authentic; that provide long-term continuity and impact.” If required, Executive Coaching can help you bridge your learning.
Allow Your Team to Grow Their Skills
Letting go of the reins also allows your team members to grow in their abilities, which is a win for you in the long run. By stepping back, you enable your team to become more confident and self-sufficient.
On the other hand, if you don’t allow your team to learn (even if it means the possibility of mistakes), they’ll become dependent on you. And dependent employees not only mean more work for you as a manager, they also mean stagnation in the growth and productivity of your business.
Think of it this way, do you want to develop a team of effective problem solvers, who are able to use their skills to navigate challenges as they come up? Or do you want employees who haven’t been able to develop their abilities and are constantly running to you with every minor roadblock?
Good Business is About Trust
Before you protest and say that by sticking close to their side you’re only helping them to learn, consider a study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology. According to the authors, the feeling of being surveilled actually results in poorer performance. Rather than incentivising individuals to perform, the pressure of being closely monitored leads to distraction.
Guide Your Team to Find Their Own Solutions
While this doesn’t mean you should retreat completely and leave your staff to fend for themselves, it does reflect the importance of trusting your team and guiding them to find the solutions for themselves, rather than breathing down their necks and dictating the answers.
Trust is Foundational to All Successful Businesses
As HR insights company TLNT highlights, trust is foundational to any successful business and this applies to the relationships you have with your employees as well as your clients. Extending a degree of trust that isn’t blind, but rather has clear expectations and accountability built into it, can help to nurture good relationships with your staff, in turn reducing turnover and improving performance.
Let Your Team Know They Rock!
When you step back and trust your team to determine their own outcomes, you send a message: I believe in you and have confidence that you can do an awesome job.
Not only does this help employees feel important and valued, it can also help to develop something pretty crucial to a great team – a sense of pride in their work. This sense of pride empowers us to do our best work; not just because it’s a part of our jobs, but because it genuinely gives us satisfaction.
So, if you have an awesome team, tell them so and most importantly, demonstrate this by trusting them. Emphasise that you’re there if they need help but that you believe in their abilities and are confident in giving them some autonomy. Given the opportunity to step up, you may be surprised at what your team is capable of.