In our latest article, we covered the key differences between leadership and management. We covered key points, including trust and delegation, objectives versus vision, innovation and risk management. Not everyone can management a team effectively or even wants the responsibility of management. However, even fewer people are truly inspiring leaders. Leadership is an inherent skills which is honed over time.
So, if you want to successfully lead your team, this blog attempts to set out how you can effectively do this:
- Ensure you establish that you are a leader from the outset and this needs to be clear to each member of your team. This doesn’t mean throwing your weight around so they fear you, but instead building relationships with your team to ensure you gain their trust and loyalty.
- It’s also important to encourage trust and cooperation among your team members. The way your team works together is just as important as how they work with you. Encourage respect, communication and an open environment. Make sure your employees aren’t competing against one another, but instead working towards the goals of both the department and organisation. Always act as a harmonising influence and mediate small issues immediately so they don’t develop into bigger problems.
- Always be clear in your communication and work out the best ways for communication amongst your team as each member will have different needs and may need different levels of communication. Where possible, face-to-face communication should be your first choice, with supporting written communication via email and/or collaboration tools.
- Linked to the point above, facilitate communication amongst your team. Set an example and ensure your team members follow by this example. Encourage the sharing of information and emphasise the importance of each team member’s contribution and how all of their jobs operate together.
- Always remember that the opinion, views and input of each individual are extremely valid and important. There is no such thing as a stupid idea and it’s important that each and every member of your team feels empowered to contribute.
- Make sure you’re not involved in every little detail – This may sound obvious, however it’s important that your team get to work on solving problems on their own and coming up with creative solutions. To do this, they need a leader who takes a step back and allows their team to learn and work together.
- From the outset, establish your team culture and the associated values and goals. Ensure every individual is aware of these as well as the overall business strategy and goals and make them aware of the potential success and challenges ahead. Establish performance standards and continually monitor performance, addressing both poor performance and excellent performance in a timely manner. Your employees need to understand what a high performer looks like in your team and why they should care about performing well in their job. What it means to them and what it means to the company.
- Set some simple ground rules and guidelines for the team for everyone to adhere to. For example, this could be punctuality, attitude etc. Just make sure it’s a consensus right from the start so everyone knows your expectations.
None of the above is rocket science; successfully building and leading a high-performance team shouldn’t be difficult, but it does take commitment, continual work and a willingness from both sides to learn from both success and failure. It’s a matter of gaining the trust and respect of your team, inspiring them to learn and rewarding and recognising high performers but also contributions from the team.
If you would like some more guidance on leading your team, please do not hesitate to contact me on 01453 297557 or email email@example.com.