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How to Inspire Authority When Leading Your Peers

Leadership Development Training in Perth

For many organisations, “leadership development training” often means being “handed the keys” and told, “you’re in charge.” Many neophytes make it through this situation to become great leaders in spite of having to teach themselves on the job.

But what do you do when you are asked to lead a group of peers, and have absolutely no authority to provide any firm direction? At this point, you can either be a figurehead and accomplish nothing, or use some subtle leadership techniques to do a great job, and set yourself up for another chance later.

Facilitate, Don’t Dictate

If you don’t have any real authority, be more like a moderator or a master of ceremonies. Help enable everyone else to shine; this will help you all achieve more. Establish a relaxed setting, allowing everyone to share ideas. Solicit everyone’s input, and ask those who may feel that they don’t have anything to contribute for their opinions and ideas.

Always be an active listener; ask questions and paraphrase for clarification. Set a tone of mutual respect for the entire meeting. If any decisions are made, ensure that everyone has had a chance to participate in the decision.

Empowerment is Paramount

The best leaders empower those around them. True leadership is setting an example and helping others to accomplish things they didn’t know they could accomplish. Empowerment engenders trust, and trust provides results.

Empowerment is a sure-fire motivator, and can also be used as a form of recognition. Also, remember to always give praise any time it is appropriate.

Adaptability and Flexibility

Don’t bog down a meeting of peers with unnecessary rules or regulations. Stay flexible and adapt to changes as they occur. Be supportive and tolerant of the methods and opinions of others. Besides, you don’t know more about everything than everyone else, and you will need the knowledge of your peers. It is better to have people working with you than it is to try and get them to work for you.

Facilitate Goals (and get out of the way)

Work with your team to set goals that the majority agrees upon. Then, know when to speak and when to give the “floor” to another team member.

Call (08) 9242 8122 to learn about our leadership development programs.

Ron Cacioppe

Ron Cacioppe is the Managing Director of Integral Development and holds a BSc, an MBA and a PhD. He has taught in the Graduate School of Management at Macquarie University, Curtin University and the University of Western Australia.

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