Want a team that takes ownership? Then stop and check the language that you’re using when you speak with your team. Most especially, what language are you using when you delegate?
Even more specifically, when you delegate, are you speaking in terms of How, What, or Why?
Here’s the deal…
If someone tells you “How” to do something, how much of your brain is getting engaged? Not much, right? You pay just enough attention to hear the steps, make sure you know what to do, and go do it. The end. Pretty mindless. The only “taking ownership” you’re doing is getting the work done.
Now imagine being told “What” to do. Now at least you’ve got to come up with the “How” yourself. Like, “Send a newsletter to our customers.” Now your brain is engaged figuring out how to get it done.
Finally, imagine being given a “Why” – something like, “We want to build a closer relationship with our customers so they remember us and think positively about us.” The part in italics is the why. Suddenly you have to step back and figure out “What” on your own, AND “How” to do it. Maybe you come up with the newsletter, or maybe something else. The point is you are now fully engaged with more of your “whole self.”
Obviously, it takes some work and coaching to get to higher levels with your staff. But with some practice and coaching, you CAN do it. Give it a try.