Breath of Clarity

Comment #1: Influencing Others

Original Post by Paul Hamilton:

I thought several of the nine key areas discussed in the reading can lead to influencing others. Having a vision, empowering people while understanding them and developing them are great ways to influence others. (Manning 2014)

Dreamers and practical people a like want to know what the goals is. Keeping SMART goals that continue to build to a larger vision keeps people engaged and allows celebration of accomplishments along the way. My vision is to develop a world class safety program and work myself out of a job because the employee own the safety program. First certain foundations have to be built, then those are built on and so forth until I am not longer managing the programs, but the employees.

Empowering employees gains trust and increases the ability to be successful. People are creative and often like to do things their way. Empowering employee to develop what works for them that meets the requirements has a higher ability to succeed because it is their idea and they own it. I ask my team members how they would do a project, if the proposal is not wasteful or create hazards I let them at it. It gets done faster because I don’t have to take the time to explain the way I would do it to them and the results are often the same. Many times I don’t even manage what tasks they are working on that day. They know my expectations and I have empowered them to accomplish the tasks without the need for my approval.

Getting to know the team and understanding is very important. It improve the ability to communicate with an individual. Knowing what drives them, their weakness and challenges allows leader to focus them better and develop a successful work environment. Each quarter I have 30 minute one on one with each of my team members. I ask them how they are doing, what is going well and what is not. How things are going at home. I finally ask them if they need anything from me to make them successful.

I believe a developed work force is a successful one. Once I know their goals I find tools, training and opportunities to develop the skills needed to reach those goals. The more they know the easier my job becomes and I can focus on other items. I continue to look for training opportunities and development course for the team to keep them learning and engaged. Increased development combines with empowerment drives faster change. I do not force team members to take training. If they are happy doing what they are doing then I continue to support them.

I have been a manager of at three different locations. Using these techniques have helped me develop others and create the work environment I desire. Over the course of the next few weeks we have our employee survey and I will know if the team appreciates what I am doing or think I need to improve as a leader. The results should be available near the end of this class. If I get them I will share them with the class.

Manning, George. 2014. The Art of Leadership. New York: McGraw-Hill

My Comment:

Hi Paul,

I appreciate you’re drawing the intersection between supporting people’s growth and influencing them. All of the nine key areas that you mentioned are concerned with evoking potential. People are attracted towards those who they feel bring out their own capabilities, especially in the professional arena. Focusing on evoking potential is a way for leaders to show they care about their followers as the leaders are equipping the followers with skills that they can use to excel even outside of the leader’s organization. It helps show followers that the leaders are not only concerned with self-interest and what the employees can do for their companies. Also, I resonate with the point that leaders need SMART goals so that they can encourage followers to stay invested in the company vision. Followers definitely need to be able to celebrate small milestones along the way, as it is difficult to expect others who recently join a cause to hop on the delayed gratification train. Also, employees who gauge that your goal is to work yourself out of leading the safety program will make them feel honored that you don’t have the mental framework of wanting to gain as much control as possible and micro-manage them. Also, they witness you feeling as though they’re capable of leading it someday without your oversight. They also can feel as though the company is getting stronger if they see you being able to focus on other items instead of looking after them. From there, faith in the company vision just builds and current production skyrockets.