Leadership Today
Trust and empowerment
5/5/2010 7:28:24 AM Link 0 comments | Add comment

empowerment, trust

The series we just completed dealt with keys to successful empowerment.

That topic is about relationships and the distribution of power and authority within those working relationships. Today we begin a brief series on a key ingredient to achieve successful empowerment – trust.
Levels of empowerment can be gauged by observing the interactions among working relationships as well as the interactions with customers and others external to the organization:

·         Are people empowered to use their expertise to help customers (external and internal)?
·         Is the group empowered to create ideas and opportunities?
·         Are the people and groups in the organization empowered to take the actions necessary to succeed?
As we previously defined it, empowerment means vesting people with the responsibility for action, action that will help serve the enterprise, and make the business successful. The process of increasing empowerment, whether to an individual or a team, occurs over time. It is definitely not an instantaneous change. The change involves two parties, the person or team receiving increased empowerment and responsibility, and the party giving up some of their responsibility or authority. 
At the heart of this giving and receiving of empowerment is trust.
It requires trust on the part on the one doing the empowering, and trustworthiness on the part of those receiving the increase in scope of work and responsibility. It requires both time and experience for this trust to evolve.
The scope and freedom in each of these areas of interaction may be increased in small ways at first. When these are handled successfully, an increasing level of action and authority may be enabled. 
It is important for both parties to understand the dynamics of this, so that they will know what is at stake in their activities as empowerment is increased. Knowledge of this will accelerate the process, because everyone will be expecting an outcome that moves the process forward. 
The result will be increasing levels of trust and demonstrated trustworthiness, which in turn enables increased levels of empowerment. Success leads to both trust and confidence as people grow in their roles.
Next time we will examine the process of building trust.
Warm regards,



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