Four Steps toward an Empowering Leadership Style

March 15, 2021 | By: Molly Looman

Empowering employees, team members and even tenants can make a whole system work better. When people feel empowered they are more likely to want to work and enjoy their work. However, creating this type of work environment requires leaders to take a step back. Both team members and leaders will need time to adjust to new methods, processes and responsibilities. Here are a few steps and practices that are most commonly seen amongst empowering leaders.


Being approachable is one of the first steps to being able to empower a team. People feel better when they feel like their concerns are being heard. Whether it is a tenant maintenance issue or a concern of a staff member, practicing active listening can make a huge difference.

It is also important to create those opportunities for listening so that people do not feel they are inconveniencing you or that you are not receptive. Perhaps is a message box or office hours, but create a space where people feel comfortable voicing their concerns or thoughts. Close the loop on these conversations so that people can see the impact of their thoughts.

It is also important to be honest. Team members can often tell if they are being left in the dark, and that does not improve job performance nor instill a culture of trust. Be clear about your expectations and listen to how your employees respond to adversity or change. This can guide your leadership direction and help identify the pain points in your team member;’s workday. an empowering leadership style is about supporting the members of an organization. Make sure that the lessons and insights being gained from listening are not forgotten and instead acted upon.

Ask for Input

Leaders may sometimes feel as though they need to make a majority of the decisions with little input. They may think that this is appropriate and puts the proper accountability on them and shows their team or tenants that they are living up to their job description. However, this can make a team or group feel as though they cannot make a meaningful impact.

This can also be applied during hiring or performance reviews. Make sure the team member has a clear understanding of their role and responsibilities. Ask them if they feel like they have been performing any major tasks outside of that role. Find out what resources they wish they had and what tools would make their job easier. Not only will this make an employee feel heard, but it could also lead to tangible changes in your organizations culture and workflow.

Consider asking for input on decisions no matter how small or big. Create opportunities for team members to give ideas and create a diversity of thought by widening the pool of opinions. If their suggestion or input is selected, support that employee and their leadership. This will boost their confidence and create a culture of collaboration.

Create Accountability

Teams and organizations like accountability because it keeps the train on the tracks. Having defined roles makes people less confused and creates clearer lines of communication. Having team members or tenants be involved in decisions or be given projects gives them a sense of accountability and purpose. It is also important for the leader to be accountable for the conversations and actions they are involved in.

There is a careful balance at play when creating these systems. It is important to not overwhelm team members or burden them with projects or decisions outside of their scope. Be sure to be clear about what are the leaders’ responsibilities and what are the responsibilities of team members.

Employees feel empowered when they feel they have a sense of autonomy with their work. They also want to feel like their job aligns with where they are in life. This could mean their values, their purpose, their passion or what they think they can do to make a difference. It is up to the leader to create opportunities for employees and team members to feel competent and connected to their role and responsibilities.

Let Go and Create Confidence

Delegating tasks, asking for input and creating lines of communication can feel uneasy for all parties, but instilling confidence in tenants, team members or individuals is key to an empowering leadership style. Success should be recognized and failure should be evaluated and discussed in a way that does not discourage but give the ability to improve.

Employee development is a key part of creating a healthy and effective workplace. Team members will appreciate the mentor ship and learning opportunities. it can be a chance to build trust and create a relationship with your employees. This could lead to less turnover and long-term success for members of the team. Investing in professional development early in the person’s career, especially if they are new in the workforce, can help them generate a greater understanding of their role and become more independent and effective. It will also connect them to your organization and make them feel like they are a part of a greater group. This is a factor that is becoming increasingly important in younger generations.

Creating an empowering work environment is all about giving people the freedom and tools to do well at their job. It takes a strong leader with a clear vision and culture of trust throughout the property or organization, but the end product can be worth the journey to get there.