Have you ever noticed when you read or hear something, you may learn some interesting information or knowledge, but when you experience something, you gain understanding?
As a leader, how can you use the power of experience to build your team?
One way is to include your people in meaningful discussion of today’s challenges and opportunities!
Effective leaders employ a participative management style to focus on BOTH relationships (how they say and do) AND results (what they say and do).
The real question is NOT, “Have you developed a TEAM?”, but…
“Do you have individuals on a team or a TEAM of individuals?” – Bobby Albert
The differences between those two options are worlds apart. You see these differences all the time in sports.
“Individuals on a team will win games, but TEAMs of individuals win championships.” – Bobby Albert
Participative Management Style
Every leader can experience extraordinary results by using a participative management style.
There are many types of management styles. Most leaders will move in and out of these various styles as the need arises. For example, if there was a fire in your building, you would command your employees to leave the building in an authoritative style.
I have come to understand that if you truly want to develop a TEAM and achieve exponential results, you’ll need to adopt the regular use of the participative management style.
Participative management creates an open atmosphere where people’s ideas and opinions are sought and respected. Participative-style leaders solicit input from employees at the very beginning of the decision-making process…
But don’t misunderstand; you are not asking employees to vote on matters affecting them or their departments.
Instead, a participative-oriented leader seeks the benefit of employees’ thoughts before he or she makes the final decision.
As our business grew, I saw how the participative management style deeply impacted the alignment and performance of our team.
Years ago, several of our moving trucks began to show their age and required a large amount of maintenance. It was time to shop for replacement trucks,.
Here’s what we decided to do: We pulled the drivers and crew members together to talk about buying new trucks. And we asked them to do the research and spec out new equipment, which they readily agreed to do.
During their research they were shocked when they learned how expensive new trucks were. And to my surprise, in an attempt to save money, they recommended that we leave out radios (that was before iPods or iPhones) and some other features.
Since the drivers and crew members made those recommendations, their attitudes were: “Wouldn’t anyone make that same decision?”
Decisions like this are typically made by the CEO or a key leader. It makes sense that such a critical capital expenditure be the call of a top leader.
Ultimately, I made the final decision. But my decision-making was informed by the research and recommendations of our team members. The end result was a good decision AND a supportive and aligned TEAM!
The choice is yours
When challenges/opportunities like this arise, you have a choice to make. You can either stay with your normal decision-making process or, you can take a “risk” and tap the insights of your team!
Here's the take-away: When it comes to trying participative management, there’s more risk in the known normal than the sometimes uncomfortable extraordinary!
Do you have individuals on your team or do you have a TEAM of individuals? Do you use the participative management style? Could you share your comments by <clicking here>?