Strategies That Will Turn Your Employees Into Leaders
Leaders inspire people to succeed. They lead teams through crises and through growth. The best kind of leaders encourage people to become the best they can be. Imagine leading an organisation full of people who have leadership potential. Imagine what you can accomplish.
In this second video in a two-part series, I will discuss the practical steps you can implement to turn your employees into leaders
In the previous video, we explored what you need to know before formulating strategies to develop your team’s leadership skills. First, you need to know the gap between the kind of leader you need and the leadership traits your team members already demonstrate. You also need to develop the right mindset to motivate team members to reach their full attention—you do this by addressing three important psychological needs: autonomy, competence, and relatedness.
What strategies to implement
Now that you have an idea of what type or types of leaders you need in your organisation and the mindset you need to have, you’ll have a better idea of how to execute these strategies on how to train and develop your employees into leaders. Specifically, these strategies address the three psychological needs of autonomy, competence, and relatedness.
- Create an ownership mentality (autonomy)
Autonomy has everything to do with ownership. It’s being able to decide and choose what to do, how to do it, when and where to accomplish it. In the work setting, it means deciding on how to achieve the goal or objective.
When you’re training your team members to act like leaders, you help them develop an ownership mentality because it teaches them about responsibility and accountability. It goes beyond just accomplishing tasks or ticking off to-do lists. Leaders focus on goals and objectives. This means that you don’t just delegate tasks, and neither should you micromanage by telling them how to do it. The ideal situation is for team members to take on the tasks delegated to them, find ways to improve how these tasks are accomplished, and do not stop until the goal, whether short- or long-term, is accomplished. When something is delegated to them, they don’t merely own the task. They should own the goal and be willing to be accountable for it.
- Give them the right experience (competence)
Experience is a good teacher. If you want your team members to develop into the leaders you need in your organisation, they need to experience how it is to become one. Allow them to struggle in these situations. See how they cope, how they overcome challenges, and how they improve situations to benefit them and their teammates. In the long run, these experiences will help them develop the skills and knowledge they need to navigate through the role, solve problems, and anticipate challenges.
Think about the typical situations you, as a leader, would find yourself in and what skills you need to help you deal with these situations. For example, if they need to develop people skills, nudge them towards situations where they encounter, engage with, and collaborate with people.
- Provide support (relatedness)
While team members are allowed to struggle, ensure that they also feel supported. Check in on their progress, see how they are coping, provide feedback, and be a mentor without micromanaging. Don’t solve the problems they encounter. Instead, empower them to overcome the challenges they face.
Allow them to fail, but direct them towards the lessons they learned along the way. Lead them through example, but be open to them taking initiative and taking on challenges in their unique way. Rally the entire team to support each other.
- Demonstrate the importance of listening (relatedness)
Listening is an important leadership trait. It’s how you get information. It helps you understand problems and issues. It helps you learn about other people, whether it’s your team members or your customers. It helps you get people’s buy in. It also demonstrates that you care about people. Listening makes people feel included.
The best way to teach listening skill is by demonstrating it—lead by example. Make people feel that they are heard. Cultivate the culture of listening.
Developing a successful leadership development program entails the active participation of the people that it is meant to benefit: your team members. Their active participation will keep them motivated because they feel that they made a willing choice, they feel included, and they will begin to feel competent as they go through the process. Help them develop an ownership mentality. Provide them with appropriate experiences that expand their knowledge and enhance their skills. Offer support and rally other team members to provide support to each other. Lastly, teach them how to listen through example.
How about you? What strategies have helped you develop your employees into capable leaders?