January 14, 2021 6 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Are you wondering how to increase the energy of those around you and encourage your team to go further than they ever thought possible? Amplify your people more than ever before by incorporating empowered leadership into your company ethos — because the more empowered you are as a leader, the more you can inspire and empower your team to reach their fullest potential. Chances are, what you’re already doing is amazing, but empowered leaders also know there is always room for expansion. Below is your 8-step guide to empowered leadership when you’re ready to ignite, expand, and inspire.
1. Acknowledge and validate
We each have the power to help people feel seen and heard, and, as a leader, it’s your responsibility to use that power for good. If you find yourself in a challenging situation with someone, try normalizing their behavior or consciously put yourself in their shoes. Remember that effective communication isn’t just about speaking clearly; it’s about listening. The more you can expand your mindset to relate to and normalize the people around you (especially those under your leadership), the more their energy will increase.
2. Share inspiration and ideas
As you continue to teach yourself new things and find inspirational material for you as an individual, share it with your community! If you see your energy amplified by something you’ve read or watched, distribute it to your people so that they, too, could increase their energy. This could be anything from inspirational messages to thought-provoking articles to fascinating podcasts. We’re always finding new information that could change our perception, and sharing it can help those around you look at the world differently. Plus, your people want to see what you find meaningful.
3. Encourage a change of focus
If you notice a team member is stuck or lacking motivation, encourage them to take a break and move mindfully. Resist promoting the “push through” and “hustle more” culture and, instead, allow people to reset when they can’t focus. By changing their physiology (i.e., moving their bodies by going for a walk, stretching, etc.), they’ll have a greater ability to shift their focus from negativity or a limiting perspective to something solutions-oriented and forward-moving. A change of focus through movement can be significant for increasing energy, and it’s also good for your team’s emotional, physical, and mental wellbeing.
4. Teach curiosity and reward expression
Teach your employees how to be as curious as you are about new ideas, perspectives, and tools. Step into the joy of expression as often as you can, and open the door for your employees to do the same. Energize your team by encouraging them to think outside of the box, explore new outlets, and unbox their creativity. And reward expression by asking more questions. Ask your team what their ideas and interpretations are, and then really listen to what they have to say with full openness and objectivity.
5. Incite openness in closed spaces
You may find yourself in a situation where you feel a team member has a closed mind. If you do, try asking them, “what’s another way to think about this/see this?” This is my favorite question when I notice someone is stuck in a thought pattern that keeps them boxed into a low-energy pattern or emotion. People get stuck in situations easily. You can use empowering, open-ended inquiries to get your team to see a different perspective and open their minds (without you doing it for them). Trust that they have all the power in their hands to expand, but do your part in empowering them to find it within themselves to be open.
6. Cheerlead and motivate
When you see someone succeed or on the verge of succeeding, celebrate them! By sharing observations of people’s strengths, you are helping them build awareness and increase their confidence. The more you discover what people are good at and communicate that directly to them, the more they will embrace their strengths and fully leverage their talents. Also, consider asking team members how you can support them in developing their skills and offering new ways to utilize their powers when you notice opportunities.
7. Identify and represent values
Go back to the root, the purpose, and the meaning behind what you do. Ensure that your company values and the values you hold as a team align. From there, represent these values in all that you do, from the way you answer emails to how you hold meetings to the way you speak to clients. Check-in with yourself often, especially in times of change or uncertainty, to consider whether the way you’re approaching a situation is in line with your values. Identifying and representing your values is a great tool to increase energy because it’s continually amplifying your “why.”
8. Elevate them further
As a leader, part of your job is helping people improve themselves and improve their work. Don’t just sit on the sidelines and expect your team to do this on their own, elevate them and push them forward! For example, saying something like, “This was amazing. These are a couple of ways you could have up-leveled even more,” is hugely helpful. By offering direct and honest feedback to your people with compassion, you help inspire their growth. Plus, all feedback is a learning opportunity. This also means, if someone comes to you with feedback, be open to receiving and elevating from it too.
Lastly, always see expansion for your team. See big for everyone, and keep leading them to expand. Most of all and above all else, always encourage yourself and others to keep dreaming large.