Empowerment LO26310

From: Scott Simmerman (scottsimmerman@home.com)
Date: 03/08/01

Replying to LO26308 --

Replying to Rick's post on Empowerment LO26308

Things have been "normal / crazy" around here and I have been in and out
of the list a bit for the past month or so. I have been watching the
posts on Empowerment somewhat.

It's been said that we cannot empower. We cannot, although when I first
started training in customer service in the early 80's, we WERE teaching
it. We did some things that got people empowered. But I agree with Rick:

>So, I think we are left with empowerment as
> - something important
> - something that cannot easily be given, granted, or directed
> - something that can be influenced, especially by our internal
>state, something that cannot easily be changed or turned on and off

What I realize we were doing was removing the things that were getting in
the way of people DEMONSTRATING empowerment. See, they were un-empowered.
They had been beaten up for bending the rules and making decisions often
enough that the average employee was not about to try to do something
different than the book said; following systems and procedures was the

So, by discussing service and discussing best practices and all that, what
we actually were doing was not empowering people but dis-un-empowering
them. We were helping to remove the roadblocks they thought existed.

I think that is what we need to focus on doing these days. Way too many
people are un-empowered because of management practices and their own
stubbornness to try things differently. So, we rattle the cages of the
managers demanding improved service results or we change the measurement
system or some such intervention to push the managers into allowing people
to do more by restricting them less...

We cannot give The Power. We CAN remove those things that get in the way,


For the FUN of It!

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