Two jobs ago, I was assigned to a small planning group to work on a project. My coworkers had plenty of good ideas, but were firing them haphazardly. Hyper-organizer that I am, I took control of the group, and we were able to turn in a color-coded, detailed presentation to our supervisor. She commented that she had never seen my leadership skills before. (And I think she was impressed by the color coding.)
What had been my motivation? Coming up with an organized plan that hopefully offered a solution to a problem we were having in our office. As a manager or business owner, there are things you can do to encourage this stepping up of an employee to be a leader. In fact, Dale Carnegie Training’s Knowledge Center offers several tips for that very situation, at least two of which were present in my situation: issuing a challenge and encouraging employees to come up with their own solution.
Here is the list of tips:
– Issue a challenge. Some people need a challenge or deadline to motivate them. It also creates a measurable goal they can work toward achieving.
– Appeal to their noble motives. This will reach the employees that think their work doesn’t make a difference. This also gives you the opportunity to set higher standards for your employees.
– Be sympathetic. Don’t tell them they are wrong, even if you disagree. Listen to another person’s ideas.
– Have evidence. Back up your ideas with proof, which gives credibility to your ideas. Even if your staffers disagree, with supporting evidence, there’s a greater chance they’ll take notice of your ideas.
– Listen. Listen — actually listen, don’t just wait to speak — to what your employees have to say.
– And, ask questions. Instead of giving orders to your employees, ask them questions to get them to think about an issue — and come up with their own solutions.
– Value your employees. Make them feel important and necessary to the company’s survival.
What do you think? Have you had success motivating your employees to be leaders?
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