Empowerment is a valuable tool if used effectively, to enable those around you to be able to make decisions, take the initiative and feel valued. Empowerment is especially useful as a managerial skill, to empower colleagues, allowing them to take ownership of their own work and to have a certain feeling of having power, albeit limited. A manager can then prioritise his own work, safe in the knowledge that his team of staff are working towards a common goal, as a team.

Empowerment starts early in life, when our parents have seen that we have learnt by experience, we can be empowered to start decision making, whilst adhering to boundaries of action and movement. Gradually we are given more freedom to be responsible for our actions and the world opens up to us with opportunities.

Early experienced of being controlled or overprotected shape our adult ideas about boundaries that may not exist, and we may find we make excuses for not doing activities as we are fearful of the result. Lack of empowerment can have a negative effect on our feelings of capability.

However once we understand why we act the way we do, and that early conditioning has shaped us in certain ways, we have the ability to change.

Empowerment is most often seen in the workplace. Instead of a manager having to oversee every piece of work his workers do, he can trust them.

Empowerment requires an organization to work in an open honest environment, informing workers about regular developments, opportunities and threats as well as making sure employees are well aware of the company’s main aims and vision.

Involving everyone on major changes such as office moves, Christmas parties helps people feel involved and valued, knowing that their contribution matters. This also enables workers to feel that management respect their humble opinions and value their skills and experience.

If managers are sufficiently trained on how to empower staff the circle widens, with all workers feeling that making decisions when empowered will not cause them any negative impact, and will simply be used to learn from.

In the event of a crisis, an empowered person can take charge, knowing that they are taking the right actions to help the situation.

Empowerment includes feeling involved, having sufficient knowledge and experience, feeling like part of a team and understanding that your actions would impact on others, and most importantly self esteem, knowing that you are valued by your manager or peers.

Unfortunately empowerment can be hampered by a boss who is indecisive and cannot allow workers to take own initiative. A boss who lacks trust in his workers and needs to micro manage them will not be able to empower them. Any undermining of power and authority will also have a negative impact on feelings of being valued and respected, decreasing the likelihood of having a motivated team.

An empowered boss in a small company can make the difference between the company increasing in success in the marketplace. Allowing workers to make their own decisions in a trusting supportive open environment, can give the boss the time to be pushing the business forwards and taking it to the next level.

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How to Manage Annoying Colleagues

Mariam Noronha, an experienced Management Educator, has some helpful advice on how to manage annoying colleagues. Read her top tips below which will help those seeking better working relationships with their co-workers.

One of the many reasons why we get stressed out at work and sometimes even resist going to work is because we encounter some annoying colleagues. Such people trigger off negative emotions and make us feel restless and compelled to react.

Working around people who annoy and irritate you can only sap your energy often leaving you seething and upset. While we cannot eliminate such people from our fold, we can try and manage them. Here are 6 tips to help you manage annoying colleagues…

Change Your Focus

Whenever something upsets you, try and shift your focus by thinking about something positive. If you cannot entirely avoid an annoying person at work, try not to focus on them. Instead think of someone you like and admire. Just thinking about a friend or a happy incident might help you shift your focus and lift your mood.

Remember, it takes all sorts to make this world and it is when we come across irritants that we realize the value of our well wishers and loved ones.

Try Talking it Out

Sometimes the other person is not going all out to irritate you or may not even realize the effect they are having on you. Try talking about their annoying habits or traits to them in private and when they are in an open frame of mind. Many a time approaching people when they are in an amiable mood to discuss irritants arising out of their actions is the right thing to do.

However, such a move is not without the dangers of it backfiring or turning that person off even more. So apply this method only if you are willing to take that risk.

Get Them on Your Side

One of the best ways to deal with people who annoy you is to try and get them on your side. This is easier said than done though but it is possible if you try and figure out what the other person is really looking for. If you can demonstrate that you will be able to help them get what they want or how you can help them achieve their goals they might just be willing to get on your side instead of working against you.

Acceptance is the Key

A friend of mine recently read a book which classified people in to personality types based on natural elements. She shared a number of interesting facts and valuable insights but the best thing she said was, “Each one of us does what we do because it comes to us naturally. Beating yourself up about why so and so did this or that is only detrimental to your wellbeing. Accept people as they are and look at the bigger picture.”

This is what I would say might help us deal with annoying colleagues, acceptance of the fact that this person is only doing what he or she does anyways. Why am I letting it ruin my day or peace of mind?

Don’t Allow Control

The moment we let other people determine how we feel it is all about handing over control of our minds to someone else. You won’t hand over your car keys to someone who is a bad driver and let them damage your car, will you?

Then don’t allow an annoying colleague or a bully at work to control how you think, feel and respond to a situation. Start with yourself, feel good about yourself and what you can do, the rest will fall in to place slowly but surely.

Don’t get Angry, Get Tough

Annoying colleagues trigger off a number of negative emotions, anger being a predominant one. Anger burns you and does more damage to you than anyone else could do to you. Instead of getting angry get tough; decide that you will not let anyone else’s behaviour adversely affect you.

Adopt a “no nonsense” approach so other people get the message about what is acceptable and what is isn’t. A steely resolve that you will get through the day without letting other people control your temper is what you need.

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