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10 Ways to Empower Educators

What motivates you to be your best, take risks, and seek out opportunities to improve?  I’d be willing to wager that there are an array of responses you would give to this question. As such, I am going to try to sum it all up with one word or concept, depending on how you look at the actions that create this feeling.  Empowerment is the secret sauce.  I genuinely believe that you get more out of people by building them up as opposed to knocking them down. I love the following quote from Laura Garnett:
Leadership is shifting from telling everyone what to do to empowering others to come up with the best and brightest ideas that have either never been thought of before or implemented and acted upon in a respective environment. It’s about caring for and instilling a sense of belief in others that leads to greater confidence in one’s abilities as well as the place where he/she works or learns. This is how you empower people to be their best.
Empowerment isn’t just about making people feel good but more importantly valued.  It’s in this state where a vision, mission, and goals can actually become a reality as there is a unified desire to succeed.  Consider this from Brian Tracy:
Once you empower people by learning how to motivate and inspire them, they will want to work with you to help you achieve your goals in everything you do. Your ability to enlist the knowledge, energy, and resources of others enables you to become a multiplication sign, to leverage yourself so that you accomplish far more than the average person and in a considerably shorter period of time. 
So how can you empower others? It’s not as hard as you think. Below are some simple ways to create a culture of empowerment:
  • Be present during conversations (eye contact, body language, devices away)
  • Provide timely, meaningful, and specific feedback
  • Say thank you when the opportunity arises
  • Distribute praise equitably and away from yourself
  • Model what you expect
  • Speak less and listen more
  • Provide the autonomy to take risks
  • When making decisions utilize consensus as much as possible
  • Exhibit sincerity when complimenting others
  • Co-develop professional learning opportunities that best meet the needs of all


Never underestimate the impact that the above strategies can have.  Consider this thought from Archie Snowden:
To empower someone is to give them the means to achieve something.” It makes them stronger and more confident, ready to take control of their life and to also be an advocate for themselves. 
In the end, it is all about giving the people you work with (educators) or for (learners) a greater sense of purpose in what they do.

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