As a leader, you are responsible for your team, but you also have responsibilities to upper management. It won’t come as a surprise to anyone that your plate is full most of the time.
When there are a lot of things about your position that you can’t control, it can be hard to decide what to engage in. You want to be available for your team so that projects can move forward, but you also need to get your own work done.
What can you do when there’s always something that demands your time? It’s a matter of learning how to create opportunities for you to find balance.
There are a few ways for you to carve out space and time to be a leader in your organization. Here are some strategies that you can apply.
Most leaders think it’s easier for their team members to get their advice before getting into action. What if you do it the other way around, and let them seek your expertise after they’ve taken steps on their own?
A lot of employees take advice better when they get it after a certain experience, rather than before. It’s fine to let them get their fair share of wins and losses first and discuss with them later to help them succeed in the future.
Mentoring in hindsight won’t hamper your capacity to help your team and employees move forward. You can help them work out the difficulties they encountered so that they are better equipped the next time they face these challenges.
Inform them of their roles
A lot of time and effort can be lost if your team members don’t know what’s expected of them and what is outside their scope of work. Are you sure your employees know what their responsibilities are?
Every team member must know the things you expect them to handle on their own. Inform them how much wiggle room they have, so you can encourage them to take risks when they need to.
Your team members can also develop their creative and resourceful thinking in their positions. When they are allowed to make calls on their own, it will almost always work in favor of the organization.
Make time for your team members
Most leaders want to be accessible to their team members. However, it can really act as a time suck sometimes, and you don’t end up getting your work done because of it. That’s why it pays to establish a schedule to meet with your direct reports.
Having regular meetings with your team members to discuss everything they need to know. You will not only have time for your own responsibilities, but you will also empower your direct reports to make decisions and know their place better.
If you’re interrupted less, you’ll be able to carry out your own functions better. At the same time, you allow your team members to grow as they start becoming more confident in their own capacities.
Let them figure things out
How many times have you received a series of messages from your team members while you’re out of the office where they start asking you questions and end up figuring things out on their own before you even respond?
Being less available to your team will not yield terrible results. Instead, it affords you fewer distractions and shows your team members that you trust their judgment.
When you’re often unavailable to your team members, you help them grow by showing them that they shouldn’t always bring their concerns to you. They’ll eventually learn to interrupt you less.