Empowerment is “giving employees the freedom to make decisions and providing the necessary support to allow them to succeed” (Stephen Covey, Principle-centered Leadership). Empowerment involves trust at the managerial level.
Covey’s six conditions of empowerment:
1) Skills: What a person can do.
2) Character: What a person is.
3) Win-Win Agreement: A “psychological contract” between leader and employee. It specifies desired results, setting guidelines, identifying resources, defining accountability, and determining consequences.
4) Self-supervision: Employee is given freedom on how to achieve desired results.
5) Helpful Structure and Systems: Management creates the structure and systems to support the employee’s work.
6) Accountability: Employees evaluate themselves against the Win-Win agreement.
Behaviors associated with empowerment:
1) Clear communication
2) Becomes a source of help to employees by asking, “how can I help you succeed”?
Leadership style is how a leader behaves when trying to influence the performance of another. There are four basic leadership styles, which are a combination of directive and supportive behaviors (Leadership and the One Minute Manager, Ken Blanchard).
Directive Behavior involves clearly telling others what to do, how to do it, and when it needs to be done, then closely monitoring performance and providing immediate feedback.
Supportive Behavior requires more diverse interaction including good listening, providing encouragement, acting as a facilitator and coach.
The four basic leadership styles are:
Involves clearly explaining the objective, laying out how to accomplish the objective and closely monitoring and providing immediate feedback.
Requires a blend of directive and supportive behaviors. Coaching requires more two-way communications with support and praise, in order to build confidence.
Involves sharing the responsibility of problem identification and resolution. The leader provides assurance and resources and facilitates decision-making.
Occurs when the leader turns over responsibility for problem identification, decision-making and problem resolution.
Behaviors associated with Leadership Styles:
1) Sets mutually agreed upon goals that are understandable, measurable and achievable.
2) Observes performance and gives feedback at appropriate times.
3) Involves employees in the process of determining the best leadership style.
4) Praises progress and changes leadership style as performance improves.