As leaders, we should be empowering our people, not dis-empowering them. Be that as it may, here is Dan Rockwell with five ways poor leaders actually dis-empower people on their teams and under their care.
Originally posted by Dan Rockwell
Don’t expect bold performance from dis-empowered people.
You drain, discourage, and demotivate, if your goal is conformity.
An egotistical need for control – in those with positional authority – dis-empowers others. In reality, incompetent leaders are afraid of empowered people.
5 negative results of dis-empowerment:
- Frustration. Anger permeates life when people feel powerless.
- Blame. Powerless people use “they” more than “I”.
- Paranoia. People believe you’re out to get them when you make them feel powerless.
- Anxiety. Incompetent leaders use anxiety as motivation.
- Helpless. Incompetent leaders make people feel they have no voice.
5 ways incompetent leaders dis-empower good people:
- Exclude, don’t include. Keep decision-making processes narrow and small. Elitism makes you feel powerful and others feel like outsiders.
- Make people feel they don’t matter. Minimize or ignore experience, expertise, and talent on the team. After all, you know and understand more than anyone else.
- Keep blabbing.
- Isolate yourself.
- Stay at arm’s length.
- Don’t physically touch people.
- Act busy. We all know busy and important are the same thing.
- Never walk around the office.
- Avoid front-line people at all costs.
- Treat people like ignorant tools. Create policies without collaborating with them.
Powerful isn’t egotistically making everyone conform to your wishes.
Real power gives power.
5 ways skillful leaders expand power in teammates:
- Set limitations that keep teammates focused on what matters. Feeling powerful is about doing meaningful work.
- Create four viable options with others, but delegate final decisions to others. Choice feels like control. Control is power.
- Have candid conversations before making decisions.
- Seek and give feedback on behaviors and results.
- How are you doing?
- How am I doing?
- How are we doing?
- Reject the need to be liked. Embrace thee need to have influence and impact. Leaders who need to be liked cause instability by making exceptions.
Powerful people look for a way forward, not a way out.
How do leaders dis-empower others?
How might leaders make others feel powerful?