4 surprisingly simple ways to motivate and empower your team

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At The 2019 NAMM Show, Will Mason of Mason Music shared his leadership and team-building tips. Mason cautioned that constantly wanting to be in control can stand in the way of your success as a business owner and manager. He then offered ideas to leverage the great people in your organisation, so that you can grow your business. NAMM U and Will Mason have very kindly allowed us to share the useful session highlights…

(Watch the 30 minute video of the full session on NAMM’s website here)

Here are Mason’s four ways to empower your team.

1. Define the win.
Mason suggested having goals for your company. The trouble with not having goals is that you don’t get anywhere. Involve your team in goal-setting. Gather your team to get their input, get them thinking for themselves and problem-solving, and watch them get excited.

Break up your big goals into smaller first-down goals to keep the team motivated and on track. Also, celebrate victories with your team regularly. What’s rewarded is repeated. Your team will want to win again once they have tasted victory. Celebrate with a pizza party, meal or event tickets; bonuses, gifts or time off; or public affirmation and awards. Get to know your team and what they value.

2. Delegate authority.
Once everyone is moving in the same direction and clear on their goals, you can delegate. Mason quoted Craig Groeschel: “If you delegate tasks, you create followers. If you delegate authority, you create leaders.” All owners need to delegate tasks, but you don’t want to spend all your time managing employees. When you create self-directed leaders who manage themselves, you create value in your company. Empower your employees to make decisions for themselves, and create a culture of empowerment.

Defining your values will help. Let employees know what’s in and out of bounds, so they know where and when they’re allowed to make the call. Inspiration, growth, community and excellence are Mason Music values. Also, chart decisions employees might make at different levels. If you have a common language with your team, it will be more effective. “You decide” are two powerful words to use with your employees.

3. Choose to trust.
Mason stressed that you can trust your people, and they will prove you right. He said he swears by the book “The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team” by Patrick Lencioni and shared a quote: “In the context of building a team, trust is the confidence among team members that their peers’ intentions are good.” If we base our trust on a team member’s intention being good, then trust can be built and not lost.

Mason also mentioned Ralph Nader’s quote: “Your best teacher is your last mistake.” According to Mason, it’s necessary to let employees learn and not hold them back from making mistakes. Remember that your business may have a temporary decline as your team makes mistakes. Get through this, and trust your team to break through to future growth.

4. Create shared accountability.
A lack of accountability hurts a team. According to Patrick Lencioni, peer pressure is the best kind of accountability. Mason shared that he encourages team members to talk with other members if they have a problem, rather than complaining to a manager. At Mason Music, it’s OK to call out a team member.

Mason mentioned the following acronym to create shared accountability: S.I.M.P.L.E.

Set expectations.
Invite commitment.
Measure progress.
Provide feedback.
Link to consequences.
Evaluate effectiveness.

He cited a Gallup Poll that showed how important increasing employee engagement is versus a supervisor’s dominant feedback style. It surprised and shocked Mason that the study showed that only 2 percent of employees were engaged when they received no feedback. Praise and give your employees positive feedback.

The First Step Toward Empowerment
Ask your team for help. Here are sample questions:

• What would you like to learn how to do?
• Would you say I lean toward praise, criticism or neither, when it comes to giving feedback?
• What kind of feedback can I give more or less of?
• What part of our goals are you the least clear on?
• How would you like to rewarded for significant performance?