You might read hundreds of books on teamwork and leadership and study in the best business schools, yet not become a leader your team looks up to. No matter the number of books you read and the degrees you collect, your ability to lead a team depends on you.
Some say leaders are born, and that might be partially true. But the other half of the story is that you can become a leader with time, effort, and commitment.
Being a leader is certainly not a life of luxury – it can get stressful, overwhelming, and demanding.
There are deadlines to meet, a group to manage, resources to track, and clients to satisfy. A project has many moving pieces, and managing those chunks clearly and cleverly is a task in itself.
We have collated some of the best, time-tested team management tips you wish you knew years ago. Let’s dive in:
1. Don’t wish problems away
Your problems aren’t going to vanish just because you can’t deal with them.
Assuming that small problems can disappear just because you chose to ignore them will only turn them into huge problems of gigantic proportions.
The step toward a solution is recognizing a problem with the team. Regardless of how talented each member is, your team will eventually run into communication issues or general disagreements. The idea is to iron out the differences in a constructive manner.
2. Take ownership
A leader is someone who steps up to help out.
While delegation is an integral part of leadership, pitching in cements your role as a leader in the minds of your team members. When they see you leading by example and see your work just as hard as everyone else, the group will be more eager to meet the deadlines.
3. Get your team on board.
Instead of telling, try explaining – you’ll notice a stark difference in how your team approaches projects when you explain ‘why’ something has to be done, how, and when.
Bring them onboard about the project objectives, goals, and the desired outcome.
When you set goals, make sure your team members know what they are expected to do and have the required tools to complete their work. Make sure the goals are aligned with their knowledge, skills, and experience. If the goals are too big and beyond their capabilities, they might become disheartened and give up. Break down objectives into achievable goals.
4. Your team is made of individuals.
Yes, you have a team working under you.
But remember, they are individuals with unique capabilities, skills, and career aspirations. So try to form a bond with each team member individually, understand their strengths and weaknesses, and assess their capabilities.
A good working relationship also eases communication hiccups and builds trust and mutual respect. Moreover, when you look at your team as a group of individuals, you will be able to assign tasks specific to their skillset. And assign mentorship roles to those who have greater proficiency in some skills, and allow them to train others.
5. You have a team – start delegating.
The mark of a good leader is in how well he delegates his work.
The best managers delegate their work to their team members based on each member’s capabilities and skills so each one can contribute toward the common goal.
Before delegating the tasks, give your team members a clear vision, short-term and long-term project goals, and a management strategy. Without understanding what is expected of them, the team can’t be expected to achieve their goals.
6. Become Tech-savvy
Delegating duties, keeping track of performance, meeting deadlines, and communicating with clients is a never-ending duty of a leader. Moreover, constant upskilling of team members and aligning tasks based on the team’s individual career goals.
Maintaining success even as the team grows and projects become complicated could become a challenge to any manager. To ensure your team meets deadlines and aces tasks, smart managers are increasingly becoming dependent on team management software and tools that can help them be on top of things.
Many smart project management tools can help managers divide and delegate duties, send notifications, track progress, identify bottlenecks, transfer critical information between team members, and enhance overall productivity.
7. Win Together
Celebrate success and recognize individual talents – together.
A team that celebrates together has more reasons to celebrate. Regardless of how seemingly insignificant a success is, when you recognize and celebrate the contribution of all members, it encourages them to seek more successes.
We understand that you can’t be expected to hand out bonuses or pay hikes every time a member does something good. But a compliment never hurt anyone, certainly not your budget. Showing timely appreciation goes a long way in encouraging people to do their best.
8. Give and take feedback.
It’s not important to only give feedback. As a leader, you ought to be willing to take it in your stride.
As a part of being a team manager, you will be expected to give feedback to your team. But you should also be willing to accept any feedback coming your way – with an open mind.
When your team sees that you are open to feedback, they will be more willing to provide ideas, suggestions, and creative inputs for the betterment of the entire team.
These tips are helpful, no doubt, but they will help you reap benefits only if you put in the hard work, practice, and commit yourself to the process. Having high expectations of yourself is not the right way to start – you are, after all, a human being who is bound to slip up sometimes. Instead, give yourself the time to learn, improve your skills, invest in a good task management app and be committed to your growth. When you grow, your team will automatically benefit.
So, if you are looking forward to knowing more about how we can help you in managing your team efficiently, we are just a call away!