Teamwork, Learning and Empowerment

When discussing teamwork, it is important to mention the concepts of empowerment and shared learning. Empowered members are essential for successful teamwork. The term empowerment is frequently used, but is also often misused.  The same applies to the concept of delegation.

You cannot delegate a task to a person that is not empowered or, at best, in the process of becoming empowered.

Before delegating any task, you must ensure that the person understands the extent of the delegation. This means that the person has the decision-making power and authority to fulfil the duties that come from the delegation.  Secondly, does the person have sufficient knowledge and skills required to fulfil the duties and responsibilities?

Delegation does not mean the creation of clones, it means giving a person the freedom to do the task in the best way they see fit. It does not mean that the person must do the task exactly as the leader would.  Through delegation, the individual has opportunities to explore, learn and grow.  The other side of the delegation coin, is that the person who is delegated to, by accepting the task also accepts the responsibility for and the consequences of their action.

This is what it means for an individual to be empowered.

Working with teams is similar to working with individuals. For successful teams the leader delegates tasks. The team accepts accountability, responsibility and, hopefully, learns. For a team to grow, team members must share their knowledge, experience and learning without reservation.

This is the basis of an empowered team.

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