3 Benefits of Allowing Other People to Make Decisions

Trust of Capability

Handing over the reins.

Letting people work autonomously.

Encouraging others to voice their opinions, call the shots, and make the decisions. These are all easier said than done, right? Especially when the margins are slim and the competition so fierce.

And now, with the uncertainty that has taken the world hostage the stakes are even higher. But, trusting in the capability of your team, your staff, and those your work with is the only way to successfully navigate the uncertainty.

If you’re one of the many leaders that struggles to let others run with your vision, and have the final say, you are not alone.

We say that there is another way, a better way, and that is through Trust Building – and more specifically, through building Trust of Capability.

As you build Trust of Capability you will experience three significant benefits:


1. People stop waiting on you to tell them what to do.

People who hold on to every detail become the bottleneck. They become the leaders that hold up everything. Issues big and small accumulate instead of being dealt with. See, small decisions can be made by your direct reports. Small issues could be addressed and managed by other people on your team. That would leave you open for handling the tougher problems.

But when you have to touch everything, decide everything, everything piles up on your desk – blurring the line between what’s urgent and what’s not.

Meanwhile, people wait. Not just on the issues they put in front of you, but on the other decisions they can’t make until those issues are resolved.

You have the ability to liberate the workflow and release people from their holding patterns. Extend trust that they’re able to do the jobs they’ve been handpicked to do. Trust in their experience and expertise. You will feel much better for it, progress will speed up, and you will take a large step towards improving your leadership effectiveness.

As you improve this behavior, you will notice that your work load will get lighter. Your staff, reports, and coworkers won’t bother you with as many problems, and you will be able to tackle the issues that are fit your unique skill set.


risk-management-dial-trust0in-capability2. People will start taking appropriate risks.

No team, in any industry, in any part of the world, can survive through a cookie cutter approach to anything.

Everything – every idea, process, and product – must continuously evolve as a customized solution to a current, nuanced need for your specific customer base, audience, or market.

Customization can’t happen without innovation.

Innovation can’t happen without appropriate risk taking.

And risk taking can’t happen if people don’t feel trusted to direct their own work.

Effective leadership means that you help people feel safe to stick out their necks. Let them known they’re trusted to take the ball and run with it.

There will be mistakes. They should be addressed, discussed, and then a new approach taken. But as the leader, you must not take the initiative away from the person that made the mistake. Support them to complete the job, show them you trust their instincts, experience, and talents.

Pretty soon, you will have a team that is willing to take appropriate risks to the benefit of your initiatives and goals. And, they will do so without having to get your approval every step of the way. This is how successful teams run, and it is how they excel.


3. People will take greater responsibility for addressing the impacts of their mistakes.

Mistakes will happen…

Let me say that again – They Will Happen…

But, when people feel trusted to move their own work forward, a beautiful thing occurs. Those same people feel responsible for cleaning up their own mistakes.

Think about it.

team-capability-and-trust-in-capability-brings success-graphWhich would kick you in to crisis management mode faster: A messy situation someone else created, or a messy situation you created?

Most people feel more driven to address and remedy mistakes that are 100% theirs. They feel pride in their success and their crisis management. No one wants to fail, and so when they can own a project they will turn ‘failures’ into success whenever possible.


Effective leadership goes hand in hand with employee engagement. By allowing others to make decisions in their work, exercise their expertise, and by allowing them autonomy to do the job that they were hired to do, your team’s engagement levels will vastly increase. You’ll see productivity and innovation grow. And the trust between you and the people you work with will grow, creating a stronger unit that makes this progress the norm, not the exception.

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