Do you know that the more you know about leading and building a team, the faster you grow as a leader? In order to know how to build a great team, and an effective one at that, one must take note of some of the vital things a leader must possess.
Only Do What You Can Do
As they say, do less, accomplish more.
This might seem unrealistic to some, but once you get past the seeming improbability of this maxim, work towards it.
A leader should strive for balance organizationally.
To set a good example in building a great team culture, a leader must distinguish between competency and authority.
There are leaders who have power over tasks that are not really their area of competence.
When this happens, there is a possibility to disrupt a certain project and even demotivate those who possess the skills you lack.
There is no need to become expert in, or even to understand, every component of your organization.
When you try to practice power within an organization that is outside your expertise, you will only get in the way of your subordinates, and worst, you will fail to tell the difference between authority and capability in a team.
Willingness To Develop Other Leaders
In thinking of how to build and manage a team, helping those around you discover their core competencies is one of the best things you can do.
Yes, it may be easier and less time consuming to just do things yourself rather than train someone else, however, when you lead, it should be to get things done through your members.
What most leaders fail to realize is that it is better than they should be working with other leaders in order to delegate and multiply their tasks.
Doing so lets you reap favorable results.
Assigning other tasks to other trained people in a team lets you give power to other activities requiring more of your effort and attention.
One key team management skill applicable in this regard is a delegation, as it brings about growth, both for the individuals and for the organization as well.
Find Your Groove
This is one of those team building strategies that you must impart to your team members.
There is really no relationship between how productive you are and how busy you are.
Being busy isn’t the same as being productive because there is a high probability that your level of being busy is the same as you have ever been.
But that does not translate that you are being productive as you could possibly be.
In developing a team, you must make sure to impart in them that the most productive people have the ability to control their schedules, rather than allowing their schedules to control them.
According to studies, 20 percent of our efforts result in 80 percent of our effectiveness.
The 80/20 principle is a perfect example. This principle states that marginal causes or efforts typically work to the majority of outputs.
This means that whatever you achieve in your job, will most likely come from 20 percent of the time you have spent doing it.
It is important that you discover the 20 percent of what we do that generates 80 percent of one’s productivity.
In order to build a team well, you must commit more of your time to the 20 percent activities.
Doing so will help increase your team’s productivity and its value to the whole workforce.
On Building Team Relationships
The following tips will help you in building a better team relationship:
Effective Team Communication
Communication is important in building relationships.
Without this, you don’t expect to have cooperation and consistency in terms of performance and productivity if communication is lacking.
Apart from this, effective communication in a team eliminates stressful situations.
Everybody in the team knows what they’re doing and their tasks well-delegated.
The Importance Of Trust
A team that does not have belief and faith in one another is not really a team.
These are just groups of people who just work in one organization that more often than not generate unsatisfactory output.
You will find these group of individuals often fighting over their rights, responsibilities, and often hide information from people in their group.
Trust is important in building better relationships within the team because it primarily gives you a sense of security and protection.
When your team members feel cared for, they become more open about their opinions.
Moreso, they speak freely of their weaknesses all because they believe they won’t be judged by their team members.
Trust is also fundamental in sharing your knowledge within the group.
According to studies, team relationships built on trust is a salient factor in knowledge acquisition in a team.
Succinct to say, if all the members in your team trust each other, they’re better in all aspects of work.
The Value Of Listening
Building relationships also make way for active listening.
When you listen attentively to a member of your team, you are giving him/her the impression that you value his or her say about a specific topic.
Remember, listening to others shows you have respect for them.
When you make it a habit to listen, you are able to help minimize distractions, reflect on the things the person has said, and be able to understand things clearly.
One perfect example is through meetings.
Conducting meetings let your members think and feel that they have their own voice and that they can easily verbalize whatever is on their minds.
It is by allowing each of your team members the chance to speak up lets them feel that they are being listened to and that they too have the right to air their piece.
The Significance Of Compliments And Praises
These are great motivators of all.
When you give your team praises, you boost their self-confidence.
According to studies, members of teams who receive consistent recognition are all out when it comes to fulfilling their tasks, works well with their peers, and are more likely to stay in the organization for years.
However, one must be careful because not all praises are authentic.
If you’re a leader of a team, genuine praises are very much appreciated.
After all, one can tell a fake from a genuine one.
Learn To Put Yourself In Others’ Shoes
As a leader who only wants what’s best for his/her team, you must be able to distinguish emotions both in others and in yourself.
The ability to respond to unspoken feelings is fundamental to caring relationships.
Recognizing these micro expressions of feeling lets you relate fully with others.
Recognizing another’s emotions lets one exhibit empathy.
State Expectations Clearly
This in all is more important in terms of output and in building relationships within the team.
All employees must have expectations.
Some leaders are hesitant about expressing these or set the tone of a team’s standards.
If you articulate your expectations well, it will help your rules to be more clarified, tasks visualized, and success on sight.
Apart from this, laying all the cards to your team makes them feel privileged and challenged all at the same time.
Privileged because they have been entrusted with something and challenged because they are all the more motivated to prove themselves.
Being transparent with your expectations from your team members helps you develop a healthier relationship with them.
Help Your Members To Dream And Make It A Reality
This is one of the ways of building relationships in a team.
Every achievement started as a dream.
As a leader, you must allow you and your members to walk outside of your comfort zones and begin to visualize things of what could be.
Keep in mind, the leader who accomplishes great things will not always be the most talented or the best educated, it will be the leader who refuses to limit himself by what others have done or failed to do.
In spite of all the hurdles, one must forge ahead and dream.
Otherwise, you will not reach your goals and those you set for your team.
The Qualities Of A Good Team Leader
There is no doubt that good leadership starts with being open to change.
Change may include the way all leaders work with their subordinates.
It could include transforming your organization into a place where employees never want to leave.
To put simply, you must create an environment where employees are treated as contributing and valuable members of an organization.
Not as children who must be spoon-fed and led by the hand, nor as foes who must be controlled, but grown-ups who are entrusted with great responsibility and believe that they will deliver.
In the best teams, management sees and celebrates the fact that it is the employees who are getting the work done.
Leaders should listen to employees and recognize their uniqueness
And in return, team members feel engaged, committed, and loyal to their bosses.
The Value Of Training
The most important task of a leader, apart from managing products or services, budgeting, or representing the department in the head office, is to focus on her people and their contributions to the team.
Not reinforcing the right behaviors nor the right recognition programs and employee relations scheme will not transform your business for the better.
So why then is leadership training so focused on everything but recognition?
It is because, sometimes, leaders get off track and began to see management as the ability to crunch figures and head complicated projects.
You can learn recognition like most skills.
Leaders, therefore, need to be trained in areas of leadership including employee recognition.
Learn To Lead From The Front, But Listen To Others
A listening philosophy starts at the top – and that means a real listening style.
Leaders must lead but it is no sign of weakness to listen before leading.
Those who consider they know better risk making mistakes in the process.
Oftentimes, sound decisions depend upon the views of others who are closer to the action.
Remember, a good leader listens.
Listening is an infectious habit. It can spread throughout your team and company.
It can be part of business culture.
Leaders gain trust by listening.
Employees start to express their thoughts and encourage all staff to speak out.
However, you must also ensure that a dominant personality on the team does not bully others to comply.
If this happens, it becomes a roadblock to the communication chain.
Make listening to other a part of your group’s policy as a leader.
You can practice this, by doing the following:
- Practice listening at the top – Make it a habit to ask for everyone’s views before advancing your own. Hold listening sessions with representatives of key groups.
- Hold back on your judgment – acknowledge all opinions and views as constructive. If there are suggestions that you do not like, do not be too quick to judge.
- Encourage members to follow suit – your subordinate will look up to you and follow your example. You may set up training sessions in listening.
- Constantly monitor views – make an understanding of views a factor to be discussed on a constant basis. Monitor these opinions from your team in a way that will allow comparison. And then try to spread or challenge these views in order to come up with the best decision.
Always Brief Your Team First-Hand
Communications should be well organized so employees are briefed directly and ahead of getting information through other channels.
This helps you manage the communication and deal with questions and queries from employees first hand.
To be told about the changes one day and to know about them the next day through other people treats the employee as a trusted confidant.
But, knowing the same news one day and being briefed on it the next day can create conflicts in a group.
This simply means to say that in running a company or a team, the priority must be your employees.
Employees respond well to given tasks when well informed and motivated
Unfortunately, many companies put little weight behind motivating employees – the people who actually generate the profits.
Companies should always learn to include employees in major decision making.
They need to have the opportunity to understand and discuss policies if they are to implement them effectively.
Make Information Believable And Consistent
The well-run organization always implements the communication responsibilities of each leader.
And truly, this must be part of each leader’s job description.
It is important that all levels of communication are accurate, factual, and consistent.
Here are some tips on how to properly disseminate information:
- Do not disseminate information from the top and allow it to filter down without checking its progress.
- Equally vital, make sure that the information coming back up to the management is of the quality necessary to make proper decisions. Keep in mind, information is power and so you must be careful about how much of this they give away.
- Avoid information bottleneck. One leader may be reckless, while another may be miserly with information.
- Be careful of those who act as one-way communication valve. They constantly transmit but never receive. They are all mouth and no ears.
Finally, training will help improve communications weaknesses but the most critical point is for a leader to realize that the company requires him or her to be an effective communicator.
All these will guide you on how to become an effective leader and ultimately build a great team.
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