How to Use Empowerment

Key Takeaway:

  • Leaders must create an empowering environment for others. There a few strategies that can help: talk openly, trust employees, stand by employees and equip employees to succeed.

Consider a time you felt truly empowered. What were you doing? How did you feel? How did the environment contribute? The power of one’s mindset is obviously tremendous. In fact, empowerment involves four psychological states:

  • Meaningfulness: “My behaviors and values align.”
  • Competence: “I have the ability to complete the task.”
  • Self-determination: “I am intrinsically motivated to perform.”
  • Impact: “I am able to influence the outcome.”

Empowerment is defined as the act of giving authority, power or rights to others. Catalyst (a nonprofit organization working with leading companies across the globe to build workplaces that work for women) on the other hand encourages leaders to reconsider what it means to be empowered.

Rather than viewing empowerment as an act of giving power, consider it as something you create for others. Catalyst offers four strategies to help leaders foster an empowering environment:

  1. Talk openly. Have open and honest conversations with your teams. Seek to understand individual differences. Demonstrate genuine curiosity and refrain from judgment. Invite discussion and welcome new perspectives.
  2. Trust employees. Value your team members. Delegate work to others with confidence and respect. Recognize and celebrate accomplishments along the way.
  3. Stand by employees. Support your team members by offering development opportunities and guidance. View challenges as opportunities for learning and growth.
  4. Equip employees to succeed. Support your team members by offering resources and guidance along the way. Be transparent and communicate effectively.

As a leader, how can you better foster an empowering environment for your team? Take another look at this article and see what you can do within your specific organization.

And then let us know how it went!


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December 11, 2019 at 8:06 am
Lucas VanEtten

This is a great recipe for success. Even when things didn't turn out as planned, adding these 4 pieces to your work makes for a great work landscape


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