How to Motivate Your Team Through Servant Leadership
Motivating your team is one of the biggest challenges of leadership. One method, known as “servant leadership,” has attracted a lot of attention in recent years.
How does this work?
How to Motivate Your Team with Servant Leadership
Servant leadership is a centuries-old concept, with a biblical account of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples as an example. Only in the past two decades, however, has the concept of a leader as a servant gained increasing acceptance in organizational literature.
Here are four servant-oriented ideas for how to motivate your team:
Lead from “the Back of the Room”
In the role of servant, the “leader” actually becomes more of a coach and a resource. The leader is a source of help.
This requires humility as well as other attributes and skills.
It also requires the ability to build relationships that foster trust between the leader and the team, as well as among the team members.
Leading from a place other than a stage encourages something called organizational citizenship behavior (“OCB”). Although OCB is not critical to a task or job, it improves your team by getting employees to buy into what they are doing.
Develop Other Leaders
If you are looking for how to motivate your team, consider whether your team is happy and if not how you can foster happiness.
A happy workplace is good for business. What makes people happy is helping them actualize their self-potential.
Moving employees up the pyramid of Maslow’s so-called “Hierarchy of Needs” will do more for a happy workplace than being a judgmental, controlling commander at the top of the pyramid.
The goal of a servant leader is to guide their team members to excellence (even if the team begins to outshine the leader).
Good leaders take a good, hard look at themselves every day. Self-reflection can happen in a variety of ways. Some people journal, some take long jogs or walks, some pray.
We all have “blind spots,” which are perhaps traits or behaviors we do not realize. Another key to self-awareness is seeking honest feedback from others.
Work on Your Communication Skills
Part of servant leadership is acknowledging and working to overcome your weaknesses. Something we can all do better is communication, which is
Second, we can improve our verbal expression in a way that helps rather than hurts. Learning to express yourself using something called “non-violent communication” could be beneficial.
Verbal communications skills include asking the right questions as a method of accountability. Stephen Covey suggests: (1) How’s it going/what’s happening; (2) What are you learning from this situation; (3) What are your goals; and (4) How can I help you?
Third, we can develop an emotional IQ that enables us to be better “listeners” of body language (which accounts for most communication).
The relationship between company culture and employee motivation can’t be overlooked. Has servant leadership improved your company culture? We would love for you to leave a reply below.