Leaders are accustomed to thinking about the bigger picture while keeping up with smaller tasks. They know how to manage their daily responsibilities and simultaneously develop their employees. But how do leaders encourage their team members to strive for excellence? How can they help employees think beyond what they’re currently contributing at work?

According to leadership experts, Karin Hurt and David Dye, the founders of Let’s Grow Leaders, managers can inspire their teams by focusing on three Es: engage, equip and encourage. We dive into Hurt and Dye’s approach for helping teams think bigger in this issue of Promotional Consultant Today.

Engage. When you want your team members to think bigger, they have to be engaged in the process. Hurt and Dye recommend asking the question, “Why do we do what we do?” This can help start a conversation about what success looks like. It can also help build shared ownership about the outcomes, they say. The goal is to shed light on your organization and reconnect what everyone does to why it matters. Then, you can ask, “How do we do what we do?” Learn what your team does now that works well and what they could do differently that may work better.

Equip. According to Dye and Hurt, leaders should make it easy for their team members to think beyond doing. Thinking bigger requires time. If your employees are bogged down with meetings and menial tasks all day, they won’t have the time or brainpower left over to think bigger. Try limiting the number of meetings you schedule and building in dedicating “thinking” time. If you want those big, out-of-the-box ideas, make sure your employees have time to dream them up.

Encourage. When you first ask your team to think about how to improve processes or make things work better, you might not get an answer right away, Hurt and Dye say. It can take time for people to process and then take the risk of speaking up. That’s why frequent encouragement is so important. People want to see if you really mean what you say when you ask for big ideas. As you recognize and celebrate ideas that come forth, you will build momentum and your team’s confidence in thinking beyond their immediate responsibilities.

It may feel like a tall order getting your team members to think beyond the daily grind. But by putting the three Es in place — engage, equip and encourage — you help set your team up for more creativity and innovation.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Karin Hurt and David Dye are leadership experts, keynote speakers and the award-winning authors of Winning Well: A Manager’s Guide to Getting Results Without Losing Your Soul. They are the founders of Let’s Grow Leaders, an international leadership consulting firm.