Empowerment Starts With You

Tips to Empower Yourself and Others


Do you ever wish you didn't have to wait for someone else to sign off on something or give you directions when you could have had it done yourself, and sooner?

Empowerment has been a hot topic in our coaching conversations in and out of the workplace, and it got us wondering... How do we encourage and empower others to make decisions and get stuff done on their own?



An attitude of empowerment comes partially from an organizational culture and mindset, and partially from personal autonomy and a desire to "git 'er done." Empowered employees don't wait to be told what needs to be done--they're tuned in, and ready to pitch in when needed. Here are some ways to help you adopt an attitude of empowerment...because believe it or not, it starts with you.


1. Get Past the "I'm Busy" Mentality

We're all busy. If you know of or see something that needs to be done with any level of urgency, ask yourself: "Will this take less time for me to take care of than it will to explain or delegate it to someone else? Am I working on something that's more important or urgent than this?" Sometimes it just creates unnecessary churn to involve other people; on the other hand, sometimes you don't have all the information or the authority to enact a solution. But for the simple, small stuff that can make a huge difference, sometimes it's just easier for everyone if you do it yourself.




Think about a leak in a ship. Do you have time to inform the first mate and for him to tell the Captain that there's a hole? Can the ship and your crew afford the time it would take to relay that message through the proper channels, or is it faster, safer, and easier for you to stop the leak yourself and tell your crew after you've implemented a solution--even if it's temporary?


2. Publish Information and Eliminate Silos

Make the right tools and information available to everyone. The truth is, sometimes we don't have what we need to solve a problem, and we have to involve other people. Part of fostering an attitude of empowerment is eliminating silos and making sure everyone has the access to the tools and information they need to find and implement solutions.



Let's say, in our previous scenario, you didn't have the materials you needed to plug the whole. Then you'd obviously have to inform others, and involve them in the issue and solution, wait for the answer, and find the materials. Not having access to the things we need inhibits our overall effectiveness and empowerment. What information can you publish to make sure it's available to those who need it?


3. Don't Wait

Bottom line, if you see something that needs to be done, say or do something about it. Don't assume that, just because you know about it, other people do, too. If you need to involve your leader or PM, speak up! Be the squeaky wheel if you need to, but ask for help, raise the issue, and do what you need to do to get answers and take action. The longer you wait to ask, the longer you'll wait for an answer.




Be an Empowered Citizen

Today's political climate is more diverse than ever. Empower yourself and those around you to be active citizens! Seek out the information you need, speak up and out for what you believe in, and take action to make the changes you want to see in our nation--it's up to us as empowered and active citizens to create the country we want--one person can't do it alone.


Feeling a little apprehensive about the power shift? Here's a reminder of the various viewpoints that swirled across the nation in 2016 as we inaugurated a new leader--keep in mind where you are, and take notice of what those around you are thinking and feeling as we embark on the journey ahead together, and things you can do to help yourself and others through a transition.



Topics: Leadership, General Business, YP, Sinikka Waugh

Sinikka Waugh

About the Author

Sinikka Waugh

Sinikka Waugh is a recognized leader in understanding people and in adapting tools, techniques, and processes to meet the demands of the situation at hand. Since 2006, Sinikka has provided compassionate leadership in transformation initiatives. When she isn’t in front of a class, she enjoys putting her background in English and French Literature to work, by writing blogs about the subjects she teaches every day. Are you ready? If you are, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us! contactus@yourclearnextstep.com


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