Help subordinates reach their full potential – by listening to them

A well-functioning team usually contains diverse (often even contradictory) personalities, each with their own specific qualities, approaches and talents. It is then the manager's job to support team members' strengths and help develop them so they contribute to the overall success of the team. How can subordinates' individual potential really be used to the maximum? By making them feel competent and important. Here are some tips on how to listen to subordinates, give them confidence and support their strengths to the full.


This text is based on an article on

Use the right body language

When communicating with subordinates, you need to send the right, positive signals. When talking to someone, really give them your attention and show your interest in what they are saying.

When a subordinate succeeds, praise them

The best way to encourage positive and productive habits in someone is to praise them. When a subordinate succeeds at something or makes the right decision, praise them. Be very specific in your praise to encourage the individual's strengths.

Allow subordinates to develop in what they are good at and enjoy

Pay attention to subordinates' development. Ensure they can all develop individually in what they are good at and what they enjoy. If you recognise certain strengths in an employee, maybe give them more authority in that area and the opportunity to develop further.

Never belittle topics and opinions of  subordinates, even if they may seem out of place

Never ignore anything subordinates find important. Even opinions that may seem trivial to you matter to them. So listen with interest even to comments with which you disagree.

Do not misuse the qualities of subordinates

The fact you, as the manager, need to encourage your subordinates to use their talents does not mean you should exploit their qualities or strengths. Just because someone likes to work with Excel spreadsheets, for example, does not mean that from now on you should dump all the administrative work for the entire team on them.

Ensure everyone has adequate opportunity to realise their potential

Teams often include both the more vocal people and the less assertive ones. This often results in the louder team members gaining advantages and opportunities simply because they are more assertive or aggressive. Ensure all subordinates are treated equally, no one is left out, and everyone has equal space to realise their potential.


Article source Addicted2Success - web focused on personal development and reaching success in business and life
Read more articles from Addicted2Success