Leaders, Do More With Less

Leaders, Do More With Less

Leaders, Do More With Less

In recent 1-2-1 leadership coaching sessions with senior leaders across various organisations, it is apparent that is a lot of pressure on leaders to have the right answers and to problem-solve. Yet, it is important that leaders carefully choose when and how to step in or else, they risk marginalising other ideas, approaches and overall creativity in their teams.

Like most leaders, if you are under a lot of pressure, trying to fix everything yourself might seem like the quickest way to get things done, but you must know by now that the pit of tasks to complete is a bottomless one. Continuing to take on everything leaves you at risk of stress or worse still, burnout.

You are also inadvertently building a team and culture that does not motivate others to step up, learn autonomy and co-create solutions.

The 3 Ways to Inspire Your Team Members to Step Up

  • Ask More Questions. When you find yourself coming up with solutions; presenting how things should be done – without having asked questions and sought advice from the people around you; from your teams when you have your team meetings, pause and ask, “how would you go about this?” Give your people an opportunity to reflect individually, perhaps reflect in pairs and have a conversation, and then come up with some ideas that you can work with.
  • Get comfortable with Silence. Very often, especially when facilitating team and group development sessions on Zoom, I find that leaders ask questions, and then come up with the answers before people have even had a chance to think. Learn to give people time to think, time to process, and then time to come up with possible solutions and ideas to solve the problems that you present. It means learning to be with silence. It is not always your job to fill the silence. Give your people real opportunities to contribute. In some cases, you can really slow down and allow extra time for people to go away and come back with ideas. Don’t let the rush to solutions stifle the creativity and innovation that can come out of all the talent that you have in your team.
  • Take Care of Yourself. Learn to not always be the one who sits in front and makes the calls and drive the conversations. Miss a meeting if you have to. Don’t cancel all the meetings that you are unable to attend. Where can you give people in your team opportunities to step into a leadership place and actually run some of your meetings?

I worked with a team recently where I challenged them because I noticed that our team sessions always involved the leader asking the questions, answering the questions and filling the spaces. So, I got curious about where else that showed up in their system and unsurprisingly it was the way things were done around there.

So, I asked them the question “where else could they change?” With many ideas generated by the team itself, it’s been interesting to see the progress they have made as a team and best of all, the leader is now able to step back and take a much-needed break!

What additional tips do you have to help leaders bring out the best in their teams? If you are a leader that struggles with empowering your team, what gets in your way? Share your comments below or send me a private message, if preferable. And, if you need any help, you know where to find me:

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