This month, I want to share a question from a leader of a large health care organization. He asked, “How can get my staff to be more empowered to make decisions?”
As I always say – I don’t know the answer, but I do have the right questions.
So I asked, “Do you feel you are a second guesser?”
Often times, that is what holds others back from making empowered decisions: they don’t want to make a mistake – they want to do it the way you want it done.
To be a great leader, be careful not to be a second guesser. Nothing erases the confidence to make decisions faster than getting overruled. Frequently ask yourself the following questions before you change a ruling or override the decision they have made:
- Would my decision have been different? If so, why?
- Would the end result have been different if I made the decision instead?
- Did the staff member follow a decision-making checklist? Do we have a checklist?
- Have I gathered my facts before I judge or react?
- Should the staff member be told how to change his or her actions? Or is this an isolated circumstance that’s unlikely to present again?
Empowerment comes down to establishing clear instructions on what your team member can and can’t make a decision on, and then giving them the room to react accordingly within those parameters.
Empowerment takes time and attention in order to provide the necessary skills to get it right. However, the benefits can make a major impact in the service and in the retention of the team! Let’s get to work!