Regrettably, some professionals have negative associations come to mind when they think of a servant leader. They think of a servant leader as being someone who is a pushover, weak, or passive. And how can someone who is any of those things inspire employees to innovate and grow a business?
Fortunately, studies have proven that those negative stereotypes surrounding servant leadership are not true at all.
One study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology showed how servant leadership leads to high-performing employees. And another study published in the Healthcare Management Review showed that servant leaders pave the way for employees to have higher job satisfaction.
Here are even more reasons why your leadership program should focus on servant leadership.
Inspires Employees to Own Problems
Servant leaders are deeply invested in the development of each one of their employees and seek to understand how each one operates professionally and emotionally. Instead of simply barking orders at their employees or micromanaging tasks, servant leaders will learn what makes their employees tick. And then they’ll coach employees on an individual basis to solve problems on their own and to become more self-aware. They’ll coach them to navigate through stressful situations solo. This permits them to trust their employees and for their employees to trust them.
Encourages Employees to Innovate
Because servant leaders engage in active listening and exhibit empathy, they won’t ever give the impression that an idea proposed by an employee is worthless. And when employees feel that they can bring up ideas without constantly being shut down, they’ll bring up more ideas more often. This will spur more innovation, even if every idea doesn’t end up being actualized.
Stimulates a Team-Oriented Atmosphere
Building a sense of community is important for servant leaders. They work tirelessly to ensure they are part of their team and that their team members practice consistent, open, and honest communication with one another. To them, it’s important to always keep in mind how their work and the work of their team fit into the organization as a whole. They also focus on positively positioning their organization externally, too, by treating business partnerships and customers as if they, too, are part of the community they’re centering on.
Fosters Personal and Professional Growth
Ultimately, servant leaders believe that the best way to improve their organizations is to practice self-awareness and to conceptualize the “bigger picture” of what they’re all trying to accomplish on a day-to-day basis. However, because they have a strong sense of stewardship and commitment to team growth, they don’t foster personal and professional groups only for themselves. They also seek to inspire others to be more self-aware and reflect on the bigger picture as well as foresee what will happen in the future. They inspire others to keep working together to improve the bigger picture while taking time to reflect on how they can develop themselves on an individual basis.
When developing your leadership program, don’t forget about all the reasons why it should focus on servant leadership that are listed here.