Expert Tools to Empower Others

“As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.”

– Bill Gates

Do you want to empower others?  Do you want to know the essential ingredient to empowering others?  It is relationships.  You cannot empower another person unless you are connected to them.  And, the quality of that connection will determine your effectiveness in empowering others.

Recently, a friend of mine had surgery and received care at two different hospitals.  At one hospital, she felt deeply cared for, and you could see the impact on her physical and mental well-being.  But, at the other hospital, she felt like a task and that the staff did not care.  It negatively impacted her attitude and well-being.   The relational connections at these hospitals could empower her to health or not.

So, how do we build healthy connections that will empower?  Danny Silk is a worldwide author and speaker about healthy relationships.  In his book, Keep Your Love On!, he discusses seven pillars to healthy relationships.  I believe that these seven pillars give much practical insights on how to maintain connections that will empower others.

Empower through Love

There are a lot of definitions for love.  I can say that I love ice cream, which means that I have a strong attachment and passion for this food.  We can say that we love a lot of things.  But, I think that the most powerful form of love is applied to people.  The dictionary defines it as: unselfish loyal benevolent concern for the good of another.  It reminds me of the definition of philanthropy – the love of mankind.

You empower others through love when you help them to feel valued and significant.  It is when they feel cared for, safe and protected.  Think of a time when you felt valued and protected.  Probably just reflecting on this memory, you can feel your confidence build to accomplish anything.  This is the power of love to empower others.  Do you pursue the people you want to empower so that they feel known and valued?

Empower through Honor

Honor is the practice of calling out the best in one another.  It is not just honoring someone out of duty because of title, age or authority.  Honor goes deeper than this, and we can choose to honor anyone.  It is the belief in the potential of someone and then calling them out to rise to that potential.

We can honor someone by reminding them who they are and what are their strengths.  It is encouragement.  We can do this by celebrating when people have done a job well.  We also need to honor another when we need to speak the truth of who they are when they have not done well.  It is pointing out how what they did wrong is not in alignment with a greater potential of who they are.  We care too much for them to see that potential not used.  How will you speak into someone’s potential?

Empower through Self-control

Self-control is the ability to demonstrate that we have power over ourselves.  We can set goals, make choices and follow-through.  We can choose the good over the bad.  But, even beyond this, we have the ability to discern and choose the best over many good options.  This is because we have set our priorities and follow-through.

In a relationship, self-control leads to confidence that you will do what you say you will do.  The other person does not have to wonder if you will follow-through.  We empower others when we demonstrate self-control in our own lives and hold them accountable to self-control.  Where do you need to grow in self-control?

Empower through Responsibility

Responsibility is responding to the world around us rather than reacting to it.  It starts with knowing who you are, your identity and values.  This is your foundation and directs how you control yourself and the choices you make.  Life can have many storms.  Do you want to be the tree that falls in the storm, or the tree that still stands because its roots are strong?

Do you know your purpose?  Responsibility allows us to make choices based on our purpose and our goals.  Relationships can have many challenges to them.  Responsibility allows us to respond to others based on who we are, not just a flippant reaction.  If you want to empower others you need to be responsible and lead the way for others to be responsible.  How are you helping others to know who they are, their purpose and goals and then to make choices accordingly?

I know a manager who has done a 180 degree turn with empowering others.  Every day he would be frustrated with lack of productivity, and it would come out in harsh comments to others.  However, the way he was responding to others was not true to who he is.  He does deeply care for people and wants them to succeed, but he was allowing circumstances to pull him down into negative interactions with others.  He now focuses on valuing others by getting to know them, honoring them by mentoring them, setting priorities so he has control with his time, and responding with others rather than reacting.  Now, he is amazed by how others come to him for advice and help so that they can do their work well.

We have discussed four of the pillars of healthy relationships towards empowerment.  However, the above manager, along with other successful leaders, have also applied three additional pillars.  Please join us in our next month’s article, as we discuss these additional pillars and helpful tips.

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