top of page


Definition: Assigning responsibilities and decision-making in a way that makes people responsible for results as well as the methods of achieving those results. Encouraging others to take on new challenges and providing sufficient resources to assist with achieving their goals


Remember: Great supervisors allow their employees to do great work and support them in the process. Here are some tips for how to successfully empower others:

  1. Foster Open Communication

Allow others to voice thoughts and concerns knowing that their opinions are values

    2. Reward Self-Improvement

Help individuals plan for growth and reward them as they grow and develop by providing them with new opportunities to practice learned skills

    3. Encourage Safe Failure

Trying new things often means failure, and failure is one of the best ways to learn; providing an environment where people feel safe making mistakes ensures individuals gain understanding and skill

    4. Provide Plenty of Context

We all carry around a great deal of information in our brain, however we often fail to realize that others don’t have access to that same knowledge. Providing context around the purpose, direction and need for any given task will enable individuals to handle similar situations in the future.

    5. Clearly Define roles

People who don't know what they are supposed to do can't do it very well. Establishing specific roles and responsibilities enables individuals to work together effectively

    6. Require Accountability

Individuals need to know if they are meeting expectations. Be consistent and diligent in your measurement of rewards so that employees are motivated to do their best

    7. Support Their Independence

Don’t micro-manage. Give employees the space to complete tasks and learn on their own. It’s hard to see mistakes being made, but allowing employees the room to make them enables them to learn and grow.

    8. Appreciate Their Efforts

An empowered individual works for more than just a paycheck. Appreciate the contributions of individuals and value their participation. Celebrate good work.

Self - Directed Learning Activities

Relevant Readings:


  • Blanchard, K. H., Carlos, J. P., & Randolph, W. A. (1999). The 3 keys to empowerment: Release the power within people for astonishing results. Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

  • Ginnodo, B. (1997). The power of empowerment. Arlington Heights, IL: Pride Publications, Inc.

  • McBee, S. (2003). To lead is to empower: Leadership to empower your employees and yourself.


Guided Learning Activities

Experiences (use one of the three learning journals to track your experiences):

  • Volunteer for a leadership role on a project at work and follow the tips above to empower your team; discuss your experience with a trusted coach or mentor

  • Think outside of your work-life, do you lead others on a sports team, through projects at home, with your children? Apply what you’ve learned about empowerment in those situations and reflect on how they are share similarities with situations your experience at work.

  • Identify a superior who you think empowers others, schedule a time to talk with them about their management techniques, consider asking:

    • What do they think are the the rules of thumb they are following?

    • Where did they learn the behaviors?

    • How do they monitor the effect they have on others?

Formal Training/Education

School and Course Module(s):

Laramie County Community College:

MGT 1000 INTRODUCTION TO SUPERVISION: Students acquire techniques to improve or establish themselves as first-line supervisors. The student will understand and be able to apply basic management principles in solving problems encountered by first-line supervisors. Prerequisite: Completion of ENGL 0810 or equivalent placement test score.

Northwest College:

MGT 1000 -Introduction to Supervision: Students acquire knowledge and skills used in supervision, organization, time management, decision-making, and information management. Students work with practical applications that reinforce the theory. Through comprehensive cases and illustrations, students examine the interrelationship of key supervisory management principles. (3 hrs lec)

Eastern Wyoming Community College:

MGT 1000 Introduction to Supervision: This course seeks to develop an understanding and appreciation of the basic concepts of supervision, to include planning, organizing, human resources management, directing, and controlling. Topics covered also include motivation, delegation, leadership, communications, team-building, total quality management, and discipline. The course should assist one to acquire the skills necessary




Definition: Facilitators are responsible for guiding meetings, keeping conversations on track, and ensuring that objectives are accomplished while each member’s voice is heard. By guiding a group through a focused discussion, facilitation encourages participation from all members and reaches desired outcomes effectively and efficiently.


What makes a Good Facilitator?

  • Good facilitators value people and their ideas

  • Good facilitators think quickly and logically

  • Good facilitators are excellent communicators

  • Good facilitators are both product and process oriented

Steps for Effective Facilitation:

  1. Prepare in advance: Think ahead to what objectives you need to accomplish and consider the “who, what, where, and when” for how to best achieve that goal.

  2. Plan & distribute an agenda: An agenda is a document that defines what will be done in any particular meeting or event, and in what order tasks will be accomplished or addressed. An agenda can help both the leader and the participants to know what to expect and how to prepare before the meeting, and to stay on-task during meetings.

  3. State your objectives at the beginning of the Meeting/Event: Group members will be better prepared to contribute if the objectives are clear and communicated.

  4. Establish Expectations: By stating any rules and expectations up front and getting agreement from the group, it is much more likely for the meeting to be respectful, collaborative and effective.

  5. Guide the group in presenting and sharing information: Methods may vary, any many can be found in the readings provided below, but regardless of method, all members should be included in discussions and no one (including yourself) should dominate the discussion.

  6. Providing closer & and reiterate action items: As part of holding an effective meeting and ensuring objectives are accomplished, it is also the role of the facilitator to ensure that all action items are recorded, and assigned to someone.

Self-Directed Learning Activities

Relevant Readings:


  • Kelsey, D., & Plumb, P. (2004). Great meetings: Great results. Portland, ME: Great Meetings.

  • Kaner, S. (2014). Facilitator's guide to participatory decision-making. John Wiley & Sons.


  • Facilitation Techniques: A three-part video series by Decision Lens




Self - Guided Activities:

Guided Learning Activities


  • Take the Facilitators Checklist to your next department-wide meeting or training, use it to keep track of the ways in which the meeting facilitator was effective. Take notes and review these with your supervisor after the meeting.

  • Work with your supervisor to determine a meeting that you could facilitate at work. And follow these steps utilizing the resources attached

  1. Create an Agenda for your meeting – you can utilize the attached example, or create your own.

  2. Review the Facilitation Checklist before the meeting.

  3. During your meeting practice the facilitation skills you learned about in the readings & videos.

  4. Track any follow-ups or ‘action items’ taken out of your meeting and who the task owner is. –you can utilize the follow-up item log example, or create your own.

  5. After the meeting, meet with your supervisor to discuss areas of strength and areas for development, use the Checklist to guide your discussion.

Formal Training/Education

School and Course Module(s):

Laramie County Community College:

HMSV 1005 GROUP PROCESS: Students are introduced to the dynamics of group interaction with emphasis upon the student's first-hand experience as a group leader and member. The factors involved in problems of communication, effective emotional responses and personal growth will be highlighted. Emphasis will be placed on group process as a means of changing behavior. This course is designed to assist human services students who will function as group leaders and co-leaders.

Northwest College:

MGT 2100 PRINCIPLES OF MANAGEMENT: Covers objectives, planning, organization of resources, human relations, coping with change and conflict, and controlling as management responsibilities. Includes appropriate behavioral and management science applications to the management process.

Influencing Others

Influencing Others

Definition: Using a variety of persuasion tactics, interpersonal skills, and communication and presentation strategies to convince others to make decisions that are mutually beneficial to all parties involved.


5 Tips to Quickly Improve your Influence

  • Fully understand the other party’s perspective before attempting to make your case.

  • Consciously seek to build relationships with the people who are important to you.

  • In discussions and negotiations, highlight areas of agreement. When possible, break large disagreements into smaller pieces.

  • Achieve “small wins” early in the discussions.

  • Know the alternatives to agreement. What will you do if you are unable to agree?


  • Influence and persuasion is available to everyone; you don’t have to be in a position of authority or power to exert influence over others at work.

  • Three personal attributes form the foundation of influence in the workplace, 1) reliability, 2) trustworthiness, 3) assertiveness.

  • Always check to ensure that your influence is ethical and acceptable for the workplace. Unethical behavior damages credibility and will ultimately lower your ability to be influential in the workplace.

  • The ability to influence others is also dependent on your ability to communicate effectively with others and have good interpersonal relationships. Be sure to review the developmental activities associated with those competencies as well!

Self-Directed Learning Activities

Relevant Readings:



Self-Guided Activities:

  • Build relationships with your peers, and do favors for others. In all likelihood, the favor will be returned and in the process you will gain trust and respect—both vital to your ability to influence in the future.

  • Practice identifying the drivers and motivators of others who work around you. What matters to them? Is it inspiration, task, position, relationship or personal factors (see Cohen & Bradford for explanation).

Guided Learning Activities


  • Volunteer to be a representative for your organization or department in an inter-departmental meeting or workshop. Work with your supervisor or a trusted other to practice your persuasion tactics prior to the meeting. After the meeting, use one of the Learning Journals to document your experience and review this with your supervisor or mentor. What did you do well? Where is there room for improvement?

  • Practice your influencing tactics during a presentation you give for work. Prior to the meeting, ask a supervisor or trusted other to take notes on your persuasion skills. Review the notes with that individual following the presentation.

  • If you can’t get an opportunity to practice influence skills at work, consider volunteering to take on a leadership role in any group you are a part of outside of work (e.g., church). Use this as an opportunity to identify the motivators of others and create a mutually beneficial relationship, following Cohen & Bradford’s techniques. Use your learning journal to track your experiences.

Formal Training/Education

School and Course Module(s):

Casper College

COM 1040 -Intro to Human Communication:This course is an introduction to the process of human communication. Six major areas of communication studies will be examined: interpersonal, intercultural, small group, public, mass, and organizational. This course is designed to combine theory and practice to increase both understanding and skills from each perspective. The course will discuss the evolution of communication theory, current trends, and possible areas for future research.

Eastern Wyoming College

BADM 1020 Business Communications: This course will cover the topic of business communications—written, oral, nonverbal, and listening. Application will be made to business situations. The major focus of this course is on writing business messages and reports. Emphasis will be given to the study of effective writing principles, problem analysis, and the writing process.

CO/M 1040 Introduction to Human Communication: This course focuses on the role of communication in current affairs, business, and personal relations. Practical application of theory to communication problems in everyday life.

Laramie County Community College

BADM 1020 –Business Communication: Students study the principles, strategies, and techniques of effective written, oral, and digital business communication. Emphasis is placed on reviewing grammar and mechanics as students create successful written messages including e-mails, memos, letters, reports, and resumes. Students learn productive techniques to communicate professionally in an increasingly global, digital workplace.

CO/M 2010 Public Speaking: Students develop foundational verbal, digital, and written communication skills in this introductory public speaking course. Students practice skills to effectively construct, write, organize, deliver, and critique speeches in a variety of public communication contexts and speaking formats.

CO/M 2120 Small Group Communication: Students develop group communication skills focusing on topics such as group decision making and problem solving techniques, group development and cohesion, conflict management, and leadership principles.

Northern Wyoming Community College

CO/M 1010 -Introduction to Public Speaking: This course introduces the material and methods for developing ideas, organizing material, and delivering both formal and informal speeches. The course emphasizes the speaker’s attention to the speaker/audience relationship. It is designed to develop the basic skills needed for making effective oral presentations and for listening effectively.

CO/M 2120 -Small Group Communication: This course is a problem-solving course which involves the investigation of communication behavior in small group situations such as: networks, dynamics, leadership roles, member functions, and decision making behavior. These theoretical aspects of small group are developed through participation in small group activities.

Northwest College

BADM 1020 -Business Communication: Applies principles of written and spoken business communication in business environments through reviewing case studies; writing specific types of business letters, memos, and reports; and delivering oral presentations.

CO/M 2010 -Public Speaking:An introductory course with emphasis on oral communication theory and practice. Provides a basic understanding of the significance of oral communication as well as instruction and practice in the basic skills of public speaking.


Western Wyoming Community College

COMM 1070 -Effective Communication:Listening is the process of hearing, attending to, interpreting, remembering, and responding to spoken messages. This course will explore listening theories and research, the listening process, listening challenges, various listening contexts; and essential listening skills.

bottom of page