The current job market needs effective team leaders. Team work is also essential in different group activities and sports. To be a good team leader, one needs to respect different ideologies, listen keenly, keep team members morale high and communicate effectively. With open mind creativity and positive drive, one can be a great team leader.
It is important not just to be a leader but an excellent leader. Excellence in team leadership can be achieved by observing the following:
Six Ways to Be a Successful Team Leader
1) Creating a hierarchy:
Ineffective leadership does not only refer to leaders who demand respect and boss around, it also refers to leaders without a clear team hierarchy. Team leaders are final Sayers and should assign roles to team members, therefore, a hierarchy showing each member’s role and input to the team should be put in place. This can be through charts with team members’ names, titles, roles; starting with yours at the top followed by the team member who reports to you directly.
Again, make every team member understand that their contribution is invaluable and equally respected for the overall success of the team. Also, hold meetings to discuss everyone’s role and consequently ensure the team members understand the hierarchy of who reports to whom.
Being decisive is important as people tend to respect leaders who make quick important decisions. Procrastination is viewed as a weakness and therefore good planning and organization should be in place to avoid being caught off-guard.
If part of the decision impacts the team, ask for a status update or report from the team member who is immediately answerable as this is important in helping you make a final comprehensive decision. Consequently, you can involve the team about your options for their input.
2) Find time to lead
Finding time to lead does not only refer to open communication with team members and respond to questions, it also means more of problem-solving and sometimes spending more time on work related issues.
Project or task delegation is good but an excellent team leader should not assign duty and leave for home early.Rather, he should stay with the team to ensure everyone is on course in attaining the desired output
In as much as you are available when needed, your boundaries should be well respected and a chain of command adhered to. Also, ensure the workload boundaries set are not overwhelming.
3) Be a good example
Leadership comes with responsibilities. An excellent team leader considers the team’s mistakes as his fault and treats everyone with equal respect. He also communicates openly with team members, solves any arising problems and makes necessary adjustments for the benefit of the team
Respect is two way, if you respect your team members, they will respect you back. Don’t criticize team members unfairly and don’t behave inappropriately or unprofessionally as some members may behave similarly since they look up to you
Also, these leaders know what they are talking about as they have done initial research on a project and collected all desired information before assigning tasks to group members taking into consideration everyone’s strength and weakness.
4) Boost your team morale
For a team to function proactively, it needs to be motivated and as a team leader, you must in still the positive spirit. Again, ensure everyone understands the set goals and that the work to be done is feasible enough.
Sometimes morale can be low. During those times, have an open conversation with your team members and if it can’t be quickly fixed, the small creative ideas from the team can be helpful in morale boosting even on a small level.
Walking meetings are known to be very helpful as well. Instead of sitting in a meeting room, walk around. Walking, like exercising improves blood flow leading to clarity of the mind for great desirable ideas.
When frustrations arise, it’s good to address them immediately. If a team member is unhappy, talk to him/her instead of waiting for the problem to escalate. This shows that you pay attention and you care for the team members. In turn, they will be more productive.
5) Praise and sincerely appreciate
According to science, when the desired behaviour is reinforced positively, people will tend to repeat that behaviour. It was also proved that most people are inclined towards doing the right thing. This, therefore, means that a leader will get the best from his team if he/she practices positive reinforcement instead of negative actions like instigating fear and threatening.
Sincere praise and appreciation is a significant motivational method that can be employed. It is important in fulfilling individual desires which translate to positive team contribution towards attaining the set objectives.
Enthusiasm is said to be contagious. If a team leader is excited about a certain task, the team members will as well be excited. Not all rewards come in form of a paycheck, verbal appreciation and Compliments as small as they may be can be very effective.
6) The rule of the thumb
Excellent leaders follow the greatest leadership role of serving. As a leader, you are a servant of those you lead. They inspire those they lead and guide them towards obtaining the set targets despite the challenges that might arise. They also make team members feel important. When a goal is attained as a result of cooperative attitude, they provide motivational rewards and set higher achievable targets.
It is important to note that, the biggest asset in excellent leadership is not in procedures utilized and available technical tools but how to skillfully relate to people. Well managed human relationships lead to successful teams and successful projects.