Don’t have the answers? Here are 3 ways to find them & engage your team
You have the confidence to “share the dilemma”
Have you ever found yourself caught between wanting to be a respected leader while at the same time not knowing all the answers? Awkward? Maybe you feel the pull between your own ego and self-confidence and the strategic business goals you were hired to accomplish? You might wonder if it’s possible to maintain your team’s respect while admitting you don’t have all the answers?
Does this describe you?
Remember these points . . .
You have great strengths and gifts to offer. You’re in your job for a reason—you have the skills, knowledge, brains, and brawn that made you eligible for the position in the first place. And you are well aware that each team member has much to offer as well. Every challenge is an opportunity, right? Look for the win-win, where everyone comes away with a positive experience.
1–Seek the win-win
Relax! No one expects (or even wants) you to have all the answers. Share the dilemma means opening up and encouraging others to contribute. When everyone participates, everyone has ownership, buy-in and often the decisions are better. And when you experience obstacles along the way, bringing your team into the discussion will not only encourage the team’s engagement but also connect them to one another and help them enjoy being part of the solution. You can’t know the right answer to every problem or decision that comes your way. That is part of the reason each individual is on your team. Use their input, challenge them, listen to them. It will benefit your organization both in the short-term with a better solution and the long-term with employee retention and engagement. Talk about a win-win!
Use your team’s input, challenge them, listen to them. It will energize and motivate them as well as build trust.
2–Authenticity can only help
Let the team get to know you. Articulate your purpose, your mission as it pertains to your life and your role in the job. This shows your confidence and gives team members insight into who you are as a person, developing their trust. Your team will be inspired when they know what you are all about as well as what you expect of them. Tying in your mission with that of the company (which explains why you are in that role) can energize and inspire your staff as well.
And if you’ve made a mistake, own it. Showing others you can take responsibility and be humbled will encourage them to do the same. In fact, all of these steps will help your team see ways to be better members and leaders in the future.
p.s. Shameless plug: If you haven’t yet articulated your life purpose or mission, this is an area where a life coach can help. It will be forever useful and be empowering for you personally (just sayin’).