If you’re reading this, I’m going to assume that you’re not 100% comfortable with the idea of leading a team. (Or perhaps you’re just curious..?)
And let’s be honest, if it’s your first time, it can be really daunting!
The thought of having to keep a whole team of different personalities on track, productive and happy is a scary one.
So this week, we’ve got some tips for you.
1. Don’t micromanage.
So, you’re leading a team… that doesn’t mean you should do ALL of the work (or micromanage other people while they do it).
- You don’t want the other members of the team to feel useless or redundant.
- Other people probably have some really great ideas to offer.
- You’re more likely to mess up or burn out if you try and do it all yourself.
When you are initially put together in a team, the first thing you should do, before anything else is make a plan – and within that plan create some roles and tasks to be dished out.
This means that work can be divided evenly, with jobs allocated to those who fit the role best.
Not only will this improve productivity, but also morale.
2. Question ideas, not people.
We all have different opinions; that’s what makes life so interesting!
However, it’s really important not to get personal when it comes to stating yours. Never tear down and demean other people just because you don’t agree with them.
Instead of completely dismissing their ideas, or worse branding them ‘stupid’, try to be a little more constructive and balanced “that sounds like a good idea, but what do you think about this..?”
This will open things up to group discussion and is a lot less confrontational.
At the same time, if people question your ideas, then don’t get defensive about it. That’s how a team works best.
3. Schedule regular and consistent progress meetings.
Everyone will have different commitments and priorities and, where possible, these should be accommodated for.
But it’s a good idea to set a regular time and place for your team to meet every week, to catch up, talk about progress and move forward with the project.
This will give people an opportunity to plan their week and block out time around the meeting and discourage people from using the ‘I didn’t realise we were meeting’ excuse which so often arises.
Meeting regularly will also allow everyone to check in with one another, so that work is coming together effectively and that everyone is familiar with what the team is doing as a whole.
Teamwork is much easier and productive when everyone is moving towards the same goal.
4. Praise your colleagues.
Human beings like to know when they’re doing a good job.
So praising your teammates (and encouraging others to do the same) will boost morale and motivation.
This is especially important if there are people in the team who are shy or unsure of themselves.
Offering positivity will help boost their confidence and they are more likely to work harder.
Praising people will also make you feel good too!
5. Remember, everyone is important.
Whatever the size of your team, it is crucial to remember that everyone is important.
There will be big personalities who take charge and talk loudly and there will be those who sit quietly and get on with it. Everyone should be treated equally.
Don’t ignore or deliberately avoid conversation with those who are quieter, as they will feel left out and may do less work as a result.
By getting to know everyone, you will appreciate everyone for their own unique skills and talent, and end up with a really well rounded team.
Hopefully, this article will give you some good guidance on leading a team in a fair, constructive and productive way.
A great way to think about it is: how would you like to be managed?
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