How to Be Effective Leader
It’s been a while since I’ve led a team but the contributed post below describes almost to the letter what my leadership style was like when I was Head of Network Marketing for Nutrihealth in the ’90’s. So yes, I agree wholeheartedly with all the advice in the post below. I could have written it myself.
This post also made me realise how much I miss leading a team. Really looking forward to being back in the saddle, this time in my own business. I started training my Mom last week to be my Virtual Assistant, so this-one-Mom-band is about to become a two-Mom-band. What fun! Have also started collaborating with a few other Moms, will see where it leads me…us. A team is born.
On with the contributed post…
12 Ways To Develop A Team That Delivers
Being a team leader can be a challenge. While there are some great benefits to the added responsibility, it can be tough at times to manage a team of people. As a leader, you’ll want to inspire your team to greatness and to do so; you’re going to need a good strategy behind you. Help develop a team that delivers using these top tips and lead your team to achieve great things.
1. Develop trust that works both ways
Trust is one of the essential elements of being a good leader. If your team don’t trust you, how can you expect to inspire them to achieve?
There are some effective ways of developing trust within your team, and a lot of that comes through leading by example.
Show that you can stick to your promises, listen and show trust in your team.
If you can show trust in them by managing processes, rather than people – you’ll develop the element of trust that gels teams together.
2. Encourage open and clear communication
Teams shouldn’t have secrets from one another, and a team that can communicate more openly will work much better together.
Set an example by implementing an open-door policy that allows your team to talk to you about their work or their concerns.
You can help to encourage this behaviour by beginning with one-to-one meetings and helping your team feel like they can approach you when they need to.
Share news as soon as you possibly can, and avoid situations where half the team are in the know while the rest are kept in the dark. Communication is important for successful team working, and you should make it one of your priorities as a leader.
3. Put an end to gossiping or negative comments
The workplace can be a hive for gossip and negativity, but that doesn’t mean that you should endorse this kind of behaviour.
You should seek to put a stop to negative office gossip by being frank with your team and making it clear that this kind of behaviour won’t be tolerated.
If people have an issue with something, make it known that they can come to you instead. Do not indulge in office gossip yourself and this will soon be noticed by the rest of your team.
4. Get the basics right
While working shouldn’t be all about the money, it’s important that you take care of basic pay and other personnel arrangements to avoid any backlash from your team. Ensuring that they are paid correctly and on time is important, and isn’t something that you should let slip.
A team that is unhappy for any reason will fail to perform, and you could find yourself facing various problems. With the administration elements taken care of, you can focus on the actual work instead.
5. Learn how to manage workloads
Getting the balance right with your team’s workload can help them to work at their best. If they’re overloaded with tasks, you could find that they are less productive, less efficient and more prone to mistakes.
Focus on doing ‘fewer things better’ to help them excel in their roles.
Plan in advance so that you can manage crunch points and put systems in place for time off requests so that you always have enough cover – especially during busy periods.
Make sure that your staff know that they can talk to you if they have concerns about their workload, while regular progress meetings can guard against missing deadlines.
6. Get to know your team on a more personal level
Teams that are happy and sociable can make a work environment great. While a focus on the work is important, you also need to give your team some time to blow off steam.
Arrange regular working lunches, post-work drinks and other non-work related social events that can help you all to learn a bit more about each other and bond together as friends as well as colleagues.
While you still need to maintain that level of leadership, there’s no harm in having a bit of fun with your team now and then.
7. Reward and give credit when it’s due
Your team work hard to make sure that common objectives are met, and while it’s a part of what they’re paid to do – rewarding them for their success can be a key motivator to boost performance further.
There are some great ways to reward your employees that include bonuses and financial incentives, and even buying them lunch as a thank you can go a long way.
Any credit given to you should be reflected back to the team, it’s a group effort after all, and these successes wouldn’t have been possible without their hard work.
8. Set team objectives
Setting team objectives can align your team so that they have one focus, and are all moving in one direction. By setting goals for the team as a whole, you’re giving them something to work towards, with everyone knowing what part they have to play.
Every quarter, you should sit down as a team and work out what your plans should be for the coming months. There are some effective team building exercises that can help you set goals that could help you to stick to them.
Make team objectives a part of each team member’s personal development plan to help them take ownership and to give them something to aim for.
9. Encourage training and development
It’s important that you give your team the chance to undergo training that helps them to boost their skills. By seeking and offering opportunities for training and development, you’re helping to retain your team while also working towards making them stronger.
The workplace is changing, and it can be difficult to sustain company loyalty as employees look to other companies for a chance to progress. As their leader, make sure that you employ development tactics that will help employee retention.
At the same time, if a team member does come to you to tell you that they are moving on elsewhere, you should support them and see it as a positive sign that you’ve helped them develop so that they can take on their next challenge.
10. Tackle challenges head-on
If you have problems within your team, you need to tackle them head-on. Issues that go unresolved will hinder your team from gelling together and could make for an uncomfortable working situation.
As their leader, it’s up to you to resolve conflict within your team, and the sooner you handle the situation the better.
It’s not always an easy situation, particularly if individuals are being difficult, but there are ways you can resolve issues and take things forward to help your team regroup.
Team building and away days are a good way to help bring your team together, and to discuss any current issues in an open environment.
Try not to adopt the same approach that you use with your children, remember that you’re dealing with adults and that conflicts and issues need to be resolved in a mature way.
11. Establish a collaborative work environment
Collaboration is an important skill for any team, helping to ensure that each member uses their skills and strengths to tackle common objectives.
Collaboration can be significantly boosted by creating the right work environment. When you run your own business, there are some key considerations when choosing your business location that can help you to choose the right space.
Look to companies like Facebook and Google that feature large, open-plan office spaces that help encourage creativity and team-working to produce their best results.
Make sure everyone is happy with their desk setup and that they have all the software and tools they need to carry out their job effectively.
12. Set the right example
Your team will look to you for guidance, and the example you set them can determine how they perform as well as what their own approach to their work is.
If you lack passion or motivation in your own role, you could find that they too struggle to perform effectively. There are some great suggestions for helping you to set the pace through your expectations and example.
If you tend to leave before the working day is really done, take extra long lunches or arrive late – you’ll be showing your team that this sort of behaviour is acceptable.
Instead, lead by a good example and be clear in your values. A team that respects you will want to work hard for you, so make sure that you’re someone worth working hard for.
Leadership is a tricky path to navigate, but developing the right team around you can help establish the foundation for success. Study leadership resources and always look to boost your own skills as well as your team’s.
With the right team around you, you can collectively work towards achieving great things and produce the best results for your business.
Have you ever led a team? Did your team deliver? What leadership principles did you follow?