How to become a good team leader?
We all hope to get better at our jobs as time goes by and that also includes climbing the career ladder and being promoted to a higher position within the company.
However, regardless of how much we want to advance and how much we prepare for it, we can still encounter some unexpected situations and require certain skills that we haven’t yet developed.
With that in mind, it’s important to understand that constantly working on yourself is necessary to achieve your goals. Now, in case you’ve recently become a team leader, you might find yourself in unfamiliar territory. This is especially true if you’re creating a new team that is yet to be fully developed.
It doesn’t matter how many people you will be in charge of, this can still be a very daunting experience. To help you out, we’ve collected some tips that could be great for establishing a productive team and expanding your expertise. Take a look.
Learn more about your team.
If you’re about to hire new team members, keep in mind that recruiting the right talent is vital. You should ensure that their skills, interests, and temperaments match that of the company and the assignments they will be expected to complete. Check their references and don’t overlook any red flags during the interviewing process.
Once you are sure you have the right people on your team, you should do your best to get to know them.
First of all, this will help develop their trust in you. Second, knowing more about them will help you come up with the right strategy when it comes to motivating them. Set some time aside to carefully listen to their ideas and aspirations and determine any special strengths and weaknesses. Being aware of what everyone brings to the team will make the whole operation much smoother.
Set a good example.
To be a good leader and earn your team members’ respect, you have to set a good example. For instance, don’t ask them to do something you wouldn’t do yourself, don’t slack off or gossip about other people. All of these habits can have big consequences as your colleagues will not be willing to work hard if they see you not taking your job seriously. Leading by example also includes encouraging them to keep developing their skills.
You can explain to them how hard you’ve worked to develop your skills and knowledge and how you’re constantly working on yourself by attending various courses and learning new things.
This might motivate them to expand their knowledge and improve certain aspects of their professional lives. Maybe they will start taking some classes or be inspired to grow their careers in a similar way.
Stress the importance of communication.
Being a good leader also means teaching them the importance of communicating properly and in a timely manner. Bad communication can lead to all sorts of problems, from ruining professional relationships to affecting the quality of work.
Miscommunication is not an uncommon occurrence and unfortunately, it can have a huge impact on the company as a whole.
That is why instilling a sense of responsibility when it comes to informing other team members of what is needed and how it can be done is essential.
Know how to delegate.
While some aspects of being a good leader depend on your ability to manage other people, there are also those where you have to work on yourself.
For example, knowing how to delegate is important in order for everything to be done on time. If you’ve built a good team, you should be able to trust them to do their job properly without you micromanaging their every step and checking everything they’ve done.
Even if they encounter an issue, encourage them to solve it on their own and only if they can’t find a solution should you step in.
Stand by your team members.
If you want the team to trust and respect you, you need to show them the same in return. You should celebrate the successes together but also stay a team during the failures.
Throwing a team member under the bus in case they make a mistake is never okay. Mistakes happen but instead of blaming people, you should do your best to see how they can be fixed and avoided in the future.
Work out a recognition system.
Another job that the team leader has is recognizing the good work that the team members are doing. Being specific with praise is a great approach as that tells employees what they are excelling at and it helps them understand where they can still improve.
You can see whether your manager has any ideas on developing a recognition system that will aid in promoting a healthy team culture and reinforce productive behavior.
As the team leader, you will be forced to make some tough decisions. You will be creating schedules, assigning tasks, and dealing with potential complaints. What is important to keep in mind is that, even though you might have favorites or some colleagues you like more, you need to treat everyone fairly and not show any preferences.
You should let the team members have a say in these matters and if everyone can agree – great! If not, you might have to ask your manager to deal with some aspects or start assigning jobs without using names.
In addition to these seven tips, you should know that great leaders are not born, they work on themselves every day and do their best to improve.
Start incorporating these practices and you will surely build a great foundation for the future as a good team leader.