I train leaders and organizations to encourage leadership that moves beyond bossing people around. The standard model of leadership is putting someone in charge who rules above everyone and issues directives. Our leaders tend to be people who mean well, do a lot of stuff and constantly tell people what to do. Add to that, high levels of energy and activity which is supposed to “motivate” employees. This leadership approach creates workplaces where employees wait for the next directive, seldom growing, rarely motivated and barely engaged.
So what can you do to promote more inspirational leadership and move beyond directing? Here are some practical ideas to help you get started:
1. Talk with your employees, ask them what they like doing and let them do it without your “help.”
2. Create jobs that use people’s interests and talents.
3. Praise your employees regularly for their great work.
4. Allow people to set their own goals and determine how they will achieve them and by when.
5. Listen to your employees instead of talking over them.
6. Trust that your employees can do their jobs and think independently without your supervision.
7. Be available to provide support only if your employees ask you to do so.
8. Start encouraging your employees to act independently instead of bossing them around.
9. Provide opportunities for your employees to grow such as education or trying new things on the job.
10. Move away from a strict hierarchy of bosses and employees and shift to a more collegial atmosphere.
Try these key ideas for a period of time until they become second nature. You’ll create a workplace where you don’t have to direct as much because your employees will be doing more work of their own accord. You’ll benefit from a happier workplace, free from the pressures of constantly micromanaging and directing. You’ll also enjoy being able to do more by bossing less and you’re employees will be grateful that you treat them like adults. What will you do to boss less and lead more?