In this blog we delve into the world of transformational leadership. Presenting you with five ways you can adapt your leadership style to create empowered and successful teams.
What are transformational leaders?
Transformational leaders are all about driving lasting and meaningful change in an organization. It goes beyond “getting buy in” from employees and motivating them to get involved in certain initiatives. It is having the ability to change a way of thinking in people, which then impacts the way those people choose to behave and the results of their actions. Transformational leaders connect with their employees on a human to human level, striking a chord with shared beliefs and ideologies to inspire change in the workplace.
There is so much more to us as leaders than our intellect. It’s important to connect to our feelings so that we’re honest and open and energized by our own personal experience. Being willing to be strengthened by our human vulnerability is the true foundation for transformational leadership.
Jen Leonard, a journalist and human-centered design strategist
How does transformational leadership create empowered teams?
Transformational leaders not only inspire their employees in their way of thinking, but they empower them to be able to make change. Traditionally a team leader would control all the tasks laid out to a team, but now we see leaders giving trust, support and direction to their employees. These teams are empowered with the automony to make decisions and plan their own work, giving them a sense of purpose and responsibility in their role.
How to become a transformational leader
There are a number of ways you can improve your transformation leadership skills. Below we have identified 5 you can start with.
- Inspire through storytelling
Storytelling has been a hot topic in consumer marketing, but it is often overlooked internally within companies. The power of storytelling lies in winning over the hearts and minds of your audience. It inspires people to take action and plays an important part in driving change within an organization.
A relevant story, told by a transformative leader, can generate an idea in someone’s mind, causing a shift to happen instantly. Which opens the possibility for the person’s next actions to act as an accelerant to lasting, meaningful change.
Stefanie Frank, copywriter and persuasive writing speaker and trainer
- Be transparent with your team
Often team members can feel like management doesn’t do much. Without leaders being transparent with their team, a feeling of resentment could grow, particularly if the team leader is encouraging the team to manage more of their own work. The last thing you want is your team thinking you’re taking a back seat, as this will have the opposite effect of motivating them to make positive changes. Instead, updating your team with the bigger picture you are working on, and how they fit into that picture, will not only give them understanding of your role but also the impact they have across the organization.
- Encourage real-time feedback
Feedback in any environment is essential to help drive positive change and growth. With a traditional feedback process of sporadic surveys, thoughts and feedback can get lost in time and issues have already escalated. Creating a working culture where honest feedback, both positive and negative, is shared in real time, enables instant improvement of any process issues as well as deserved praise to both team members and the leader.
- Give your team autonomy
Often the hardest thing for leaders is to have less control over task based activities. To enable your team to develop their skills and feel trusted to do a good job, you need to give them flexibility to action tasks as they best see fit. As team leader you will still have overall control of the project, but you will be setting parameters, objectives and giving the support and guidance your teams needs to succeed, rather than just a list of pre-thought out actions.
- Challenge your team
As part of giving your employees more autonomy, you should also be looking at how you can challenge your team members. Identify their strengths and how you could further progress them. Take a look at their weaknesses and find tasks that could help build these skills further without making them feel too far out of their comfort zone to cause a negative effect. Taking a personal interest in your teams members and helping them in their career will not only create a better working relationship but also make your team feel valued and supported.