As you build a cache of leadership strategies, servant leadership is one of the most effective approaches you can use to keep your team fully engaged and amazingly productive.
What Servant Leadership Means
Put simply, it’s putting the concerns of others, particularly those of your team members, before your own.
According to the site MindTools.com, servant leadership means acknowledging others’ viewpoints, giving them what they need to meet their professional and personal objectives, and prioritizing the construction of a sense of community within your team. All of these activities lead to greater trust which itself leads to stronger relationships, higher engagement, and greater productivity and creativity.
Adopting an approach of servant leadership also requires dedication, says David Lee on the site TLNT. Thinking of others first is no easy task, especially when we have tunnel vision about our own goals and endless to-do lists. While ‘What’s in it for me?’ might be a common question abounding in heads across corporations everywhere, this is also the type of thinking that contributes hugely to “the abysmal employee engagement levels that plague many teams around the globe.”
So how do you start making the shift? In addition to the tips below, we at Authentic Leadership International (www.boldermoves.com) can also provide you with tools to learn and practice a variety of effective servant leadership methods.
How To Practice Servant Leadership
Here’s are three suggestions (from David Lee) for putting Servant Leadership into action.
- Remember that what you put out is what comes back to you from others.
- When you see people performing well, compliment them so they know you saw it and appreciate it.
- Remember that your efforts will comes back to you again and again through a cohesive, highly productive team.
“Your role is to lift up your employees and help them to joyfully achieve their goals so they can thrive. When they succeed, you succeed, and the whole organization succeeds. It’s a thing of beauty,” says Marcel Schwantes, principal and founder of Leadership From the Core, defining his view of servant leadership in a recent Inc.com article.
Keep It In Perspective
Paying attention to other people’s needs, however, does not mean sparing their feelings. The Mindtools site suggests not avoiding making unpopular decisions or giving team members tips for improvement when this is needed. After all, even uncomfortable feelings can set the stage for our growth and, therefore, employee engagement and productivity.
Servant leadership is just one of many leadership tactics that can keep your team working at optimum levels while also keeping them happy and excited to do so.
Looking for new and bolder ways to manage your teams, such as practicing servant leadership? Sign up here to access my Weekly Bold Move. It’s free and with no strings attached.
Image courtesy of samuiblue at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Colleen Slaughter Raue, Managing Partner of Authentic Leadership International
Colleen is a transformational leadership coach who guides international leaders as they attain the clarity, courage and self-confidence necessary to realize higher levels of productivity and fulfillment in both their personal and professional lives.
Her purpose is to facilitate her clients’ transformation from limiting beliefs and self-doubts into a deeper, more powerful knowingness of how much they – and what they envision for themselves – truly matter.
Colleen’s perspectives were recently featured in an article on the International Coach Federation’s website here.