Recall the initial days when you had just joined (be it the recent organization or the ones in the past). If I am not mistaken, most probably you were left to figure out everything on your own. You figured things out yourself. And while doing so, you felt lost, didn’t you?
You were the person who wanted to be helped the most, but the least of it was available. You were struck by the novice paradox. How did you feel?
Fast-forward today, let’s assume that someone new joins your team. What is it you did to ease the person’s inclusion in the team? Did you not leave the person to figure out things on his/her own? Why?
Well, on occasions like these or others; largely we allow people to go through the same pain we went through because we believe that is the way it should be.
But a leader creates more leaders and not more followers.
So today I challenge you to level-up your subordinates to have grand breakthroughs in your career.
Who are the subordinates I am talking about?
Subordinates are not the ones who report to your formally. I mean, they definitely are; but I want you to really expand your definition of subordinate to anyone and everyone how is less capable of doing a particular task as compared to you. Let that be the person senior to you in the hierarchy or let the person be someone who don’t report to your formally–if they need help and you can offer it, they are your subordinates.
Taking a step ahead of the day 6 challenge where I proved you to awaken the leader within, here are 7 tips to help you level-up your subordinates–
#1 Look for opportunities around
I have already spoken about this in the day 6 challenge. There are ample of opportunities around you. All you need to do is to be aware, and to be aware you need to observe.
Constantly ask yourself, what is that you know better that you can help others with? When you constantly ask this question, you surely could spot them.
#2 Be approachable
Let people know that they can approach you, in case the need be.
So when you have spotted the opportunity, let the person know you will help. Invest time in having an open discussion with the person, showing the roadmap of what they could do, and leaving the room for the person to approach as and when the need be.
#3 Be personally invested
Make time from your busy schedule to work with the people who might need your help.
It may be the person next to you wanting to know how to make a presentation better or maybe another colleague who wants to have a 3-person perspective on a report s/he has made. Take an interest in helping them. Give the right feedback, so they can improve. Be personally invested.
#4 Get to understand challenges
What is it that they are struggling with?
This is a good question to answer when you want to help. This will help you get clarity on what is the actual problem and how you can offer help. Get to have a thorough understanding of the challenges faced by your subordinates first.
#5 Ask questions
As the solutions to all your problems are within you, all solutions to the others’ problems are within them. Asking the right questions is the key. Don’t do the work for them. Instead, ask questions to allow them to reflect and come up with a solution,
Remember, if you give a man a fish you feed him for a day; but if you teach him to fish, you have fed him for a lifetime.
#6 Accelerate learning
The faster they can figure out what they should do, the faster they overcome the challenge and the faster they learn. Every opportunity to help your subordinate is an opportunity for the person to learn from you and be better in that particular area. So focus on giving interesting insights from your experience.
A bonus in the process is that there would be some things that you will learn too. Look forward to learning and self-growth in the entire process. Let it be 2 way.
#7 Take this chance to influence them
In the day 6 challenge, I also said that leadership is all about influence. Helping your subordinates is a glorious opportunity for you to influence them. Make the most of it.
If you are helping someone, especially solve a colossal problem, help them with some early wins by breaking the problem into smaller parts. When you make it easy for them, they have early wins and you have influenced them.
In a nutshell,
Levelling-up your subordinates is a stepping stone for career breakthroughs. When you help them level up, they look up to you and are convinced that you deserve to get to the next level. This, when noticed by your boss, plays a vital role in getting you promoted.