Personal & Team Development, Leadership, Motivation Blog Series
Many people say, I am included, that “I learn the best by doing.” Information learned during training, seminar or conference is great, but unless it is applied in practice in the real life, there’s little to no value in it. Therefore, hands-on experience is one of the best ways to learn and apply what you had learned.
Some of the best training sessions I had attended included group hands-on projects and assignments, where group had to brainstorm, create a plan, and present to a larger audience in a set period of time. This is great opportunity to share your thoughts and opinions with the rest of the group, collaborate, and present the best overall solution. It’s an actual hands-on exercise that helps for the information to stick in your head versus just on paper.
It’s not going to be perfect the first time around
When you transition from theory to practice, don’t expect to be perfect from the start, there’s going to be some trial and error, there will be roadblocks and mistakes made, but this initial period will pass. It’s like in sales or first time receiving or making a call to/from a prospective customer, you are nervous because of the unknown. You may have all the information, training, and tool needed to do a job, but until you actually do it, make few calls, only then everything will start to come together – learning by doing takes over. After a period of time, you are no longer afraid and feel very comfortable, maybe even ready to teach others.
Developing teams and leaders through empowerment
How are the most successful teams built?
There are so many different ways in use today by managers and leaders alike to build and grow a team, however, the most successful team which creates and develops successful leaders, is the one that’s empowered.
What is the empowered team?
It is the team that can function and deliver strong results with or without a business leader present. It is the team which relies on each other’s expertise and support to perform. It is the team that is empowered to make necessary business decisions without having to wait for an approval or direction from a business leader, as long as all business policies and processes are being adhered to as required. Often, critical opportunities are missed by a business simply because teams are unable to function on their own while leader is unavailable, in order to approve or authorize even the basic step in the performance process. Team members could have acted, but they didn’t because they are not empowered to make such decisions without prior approval.
Empowered teams create empowered leaders
When team operates as one unit, when team is encouraged to make tough calls, incorporate out of the box thinking and innovate, great leaders emerge from such team. Empowerment encourages thinking, risk taking, leadership, and innovation. Naturally, leaders which strong determination, persistence, trust or their peers, and charisma, will begin leading other team members towards a common goal without official title.
Why not every team in every business creates empowered teams?
Some business leaders are simply afraid to let go and to allow team members to make important decisions, instead requiring their approval for each new task or process. Some business leaders do not invest enough of their time to grow and develop new leaders which already exist in each team and are waiting for an opportunity to be discovered and mentored. This type of leadership typically creates disengaged employees and potential future leaders with a lot of potential choose to leave the business and seek opportunities for growth elsewhere.
Benefits of empowering through involvement
So, with all these benefits in mind why not create and foster teams that are empowered and involved in decision making process in every business? There is no good reason for not doing so. As Benjamin Franklin said: “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”
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