Coaching for Empowerment
Get the coaching conversation going about empowerment
This job aid is for leaders who want to enhance their ability to empower themselves and others. It offers questions to prompt individual reflection and support conversation in peer or team coaching groups.Note*
What it is
- For leaders, it is the process of allowing employees the latitude to engage, manage, influence, make decisions and act at work.
- For individuals, it is honouring trust with a sense of autonomy, control, accountability, purpose, alignment with shared values, self-worth and a belief that "I can make a difference."
Why it's important
- Empowered individuals and teams are more effective and responsive and are better equipped to navigate through change and disruption.
- Empowering relationships foster innovation, service focus, agility, performance, talent, well-being and retention.
- Empowered employees demonstrate engagement, creativity and openness to learn.
How it works
- Building blocks that contribute to empowerment:
- fostering autonomy and a sense of competence
- stimulating skills development
- trusting and being trustworthy
- creating a meaningful workplace
- Reflecting on experiences with coaching questions creates opportunities to learn and develop these building blocks.
Questions to use with your peers (Peer coaching)
Use the questions in this section to guide a coaching conversation with peers for self-reflection and leadership development. You can use any of these suggested questions in any order.
- Based on how you have been navigating through recent changes, what have you noticed about your empowering behaviours? What about your own sense of empowerment? (Self-awareness)
- What concrete examples show how much latitude you have been allowing others? (Autonomy)
- How often have you been asking: "What do you need from me to develop more skills"? (Skills development)
- What have been your assumptions about giving over control to others? How are these assumptions serving you? (Competence)
- How have you been demonstrating to others that you have their back so they feel safe to innovate? (Trust)
- In times of disruption or crisis, what aspects of employee empowerment are most challenging for you? (Autonomy)
- How do you use delegating to mentor? (Skills development)
- How curious are you about others' needs to grow and develop? (Competence)
- What does it require from you to say, "I trust you. If this does not work as planned, I have your back. We'll learn and fix it together?" (Trust)
- How do you adapt your messages to your audience's needs? (Meaningfulness)
- How can you amplify others' sense of autonomy? (Autonomy)
- What would be innovative ways to give others new challenges? (Competence)
- How can you create safety to allow everyone to share and learn from their risk-taking experiences? (Trust)
- How might you demonstrate that you are trusting or trustworthy? (Trust)
- What can you do to foster a sense of "making a difference" in your employees? (Meaningfulness)
Questions to use with your team (Team coaching)
Use the questions in this section to guide a coaching conversation when leading a coaching conversation with team or group members. You can use any of these suggested questions in any order.
- Think of a time when you felt truly empowered at work. How did you feel? What impact did it have? (Self-awareness)
- Tell us a teamwork story when you felt a surge of confidence. What contributed to it? (Competence)
- What recent examples demonstrate that you are able to inspire or innovate? (Meaningfulness)
- When working virtually, how inclusive have you been in your conversations? (Trust)
- In times of rapid change, how have you been able to sustain confidence while balancing competing needs? (Autonomy)
- What does empowerment mean to you? (Self-awareness)
- Which of your strengths would you like to leverage more? How can we support you? (Competence)
- What does it take for you to trust me, and me to trust you? (Trust)
- What does "meaningful work" mean for you? for the team? (Meaningfulness) How can we tweak our decision-making processes to generate more autonomy for everyone? (Autonomy)
- How can we sustain meaningful work in a fast-evolving environment? (Meaningfulness)
- Where would you like to expand your skills? (Skills development)
- What would give you the confidence to take smart risks when you see a need for improvement? (Autonomy)
- How can we ensure everyone's voice is heard in order to create an empowering workplace? (Trust)
- What if each of us were more empowered to make a difference? What would that look like? How do we get there? (Autonomy)
Pay attention to your trust-building behaviours and mindset. Reflect daily through journaling or conversation with a buddy, mentor or coach. Deepen your self-awareness and genuinely explore how you can amplify your empowering actions or shift your thinking.
The empowerment building blocks are:
- skills development