In our post last week titled, Listen, Learn, and Lead, we talked about the importance of reciprocal influence in your leadership. As a reminder, our definition of leadership is that,
Leadership is the willingness to influence your world
and the willingness to be influenced by your world,
regardless of your role or title.
We heard from some of you that you’re still not quite sure what to say when challenges arise, how to bring people together so that they feel part of the solution, or even what transparency looks like.
So today, we’re going to go through the ACT with POWER framework again, giving some examples of what you can say to the people you’re leading so that they feel they belong.
ACT with POWER
Possibilities: The most effective leaders trust that there are possibilities inherent in the obstacles and challenges.
Since there will inevitably be obstacles and challenges, keeping a possibility mindset helps your team remember that there are always options to keep moving forward. Invite your team to engage in reciprocal influence and share ideas.
The more minds you have in looking inside the obstacles for the possibilities, the more innovative you’ll be.
Example: “Despite our great planning, we’ve hit a challenge and need to plan a new course. I know it’s frustrating, AND… this could be a great opportunity to pull back and see what else is possible. Let’s all take 10 minutes to write down options to move forward. Then we’ll go around and hear from everyone.”
Ownership: Effective leaders own why the project, vision, strategy is important to them and the company and feel ownership for creating success.
Have a conversation with the team and ask why this work, vision, or specific effort matters to them and how they believe they can be most helpful in contributing to success.
Example: “I care about the success of this project because of XYZ and it’s important to the company because of XYZ. I’d love to hear from each of you about your views on this project and how you see your work contributing to its success.”
We-Focused: Effective leaders turn to their team to identify how the team can move forward together. This is another great time to use reciprocal influence.
Example: “Let’s all take a few minutes to make some notes with ideas about how we can move forward. Then, we’ll go around and share everyone’s ideas.”
Enable Action: Effective leaders enable considered-action. Whether they’re a part of the action items or delegating, it’s important to make sure that each person understands who will be doing what and by when or what will stop and for how long.
Example: “As the project manager, Employee A will work with each of you to create a schedule with action items and then we’ll review that together as a team, by X date. At that meeting, please be prepared to discuss other priorities and any potential challenges you see with the timelines, action items, or owners.”
Review and Refine: Effective leaders don’t leave this one to chance! It’s important to schedule regular check-ins where the team can celebrate successes, tackle obstacles, and discuss next steps.
Example: “As we know, obstacles may arise, so it’s important that we meet regularly to check-in with each other on successes and obstacles. Let’s agree on a meeting time now for those recurring check-ins.”
Read through our framework again as well as some of our suggested verbiage. Keep in mind that it’s important to not only influence your world with your best thinking, but to also allow them to influence you with their best thinking.
Let us know how it goes!