I'm fascinated by how teams work and organise to best effect and subscribe to HBR because I find their insights interesting around the topic of trust.
Trust is key to creating successful teams but check out the paragraph below. Leaders who empower are more trusted. However, when a leader tries to empower, it can often come across as "delegation".
Anyone else experienced that moment when you're sat in your review - it goes something like "Sarah, I'd like you to take on more responsibility. We have a project that's highly visible to board members that we'd like you to be part of." Immediate reaction? More responsibility and no recognition.
There's a fine line between empowering and delegating. The two aren't the same. I'm at my best when I can go explore and develop what I believe is best for the business. I try to inspire the same 'go do' ethos within the Tribal culture. If you feel it would work, go try. Go do. Let's test and discover together.
Second, employees were more likely to trust leaders who they perceived as more empowering. This is not as intuitive as one might think. When a leader tries to empower employees, he or she asks them to take on additional challenges and responsibility at work. Employees’ could interpret such delegating as the leader’s attempt to avoid doing the work him or herself. But we found that when empowering leadership is also about mentoring and supporting employee development, this can create a trusting relationship. Like psychological empowerment, we found that this feeling of trust helped to explain the effects of empowering leadership on both creativity and citizenship. This is because trust reduces uncertainty in the environment by instilling a sense of safety, which enables employees to take on more risks without feeling vulnerable.