top of page

Simple steps to empower & motivate!

Does it work?


When I first became a leader of teams the one thing that exhausted me most was the amount of questions I was asked by my team. I felt like a sponge. Being rung out for every piece of information available.

I hadn’t realised I was spending so much time learning everything I could about the business and my department that I had set myself up as the font of all knowledge and the team knew it! They would come to me with the same questions again and again.


Because they knew I would give them the answer and they wouldn’t have to use their brain.

Then I started doing their job for them!

Result - much less time to do the role I was being paid for.

How about if I turned this around in a gentle way and asked them…

What would you do?

What do you know about this already?

Who else in the team would have this information? (The one’s that listened before!)

Slowly but surely the team cottoned on that I wouldn’t just give them the answer, they would have to do some thinking for themselves.

The sponge disappeared and I regained my role as a Leader.

So you can empower with one or two simple informal targeted questions, or you can have more structured conversations if the brief is more detailed.


Empowerment isn’t about giving away parts of your role as a leader, it’s about giving individuals in your team the opportunity to be the best they can be in their role with minimal reliance on your instruction.

Think about how much more you can achieve in your own role as a leader when you have the confidence to let your team operate in a self sufficient way, knowing that your support is there for them at the appropriate time.

Remember, when choosing to empower, you are setting up an individual to succeed not fail, so choose carefully when deciding who to empower and when.

The sequence below is by no means exhaustive, especially when it comes to the coaching questions you can ask during each part of the process. It does, however give you a place to start.

The Framework

N.B. This is a two way conversation, so prepare for further exploration, questioning, suggestions & Ideas (from both parties).

The venue you choose to hold this conversation is really important too, somewhere with no distractions and a welcoming environment. (Where possible!)


What exactly do you want the person to do?


Who and/or what will this benefit? (The business, their development etc)

Check current experience

What do they know about this subject already?


Tell them the end result you and/or the business are looking for & timeframe.

How much does this brief inspire them? (Motivation)

How do they see this working alongside their development objectives?


Now they have the brief, where will they begin?

How will they go about it?

What opportunities/Ideas do they see?

Actions support

Offer some of your own suggestions if the recipient is struggling.

Make sure they are happy to own them (check experience & motivation

level before moving on.

Important - You are setting them up to succeed, not fail.


What challenges do they see and how might they overcome them?


Ask how/when/where they would like to receive this?

Checking in

Book in timely catch ups. This IS a key part of your role.

What is going well/not so well?

Why do you think that might be?

What are your next steps?

What support do you need from me?

You can offer some of your own suggestions.

Only do this if you believe it will help them to kickstart the parts of the project they are finding challenging.

Empower again

Do they have all that’s needed to move forward?

Ask them to summarise the conversation and what they need to do now.


Set a post project review meeting date.

The final review information can be taken & used by the individual for their next appraisal or development meeting.

The Benefits

For you

A little investment free’s up your time to lead and focus on your own objectives and ambitions, while driving your team/individuals to be self sufficient in a motivated, positive & trusted environment.

For them

Individuals/team will feel trusted to make their own decisions with support when needed creating an adult to adult relationship in a motivated, positive & trusted environment.

55 views0 comments


bottom of page