Leaders have a tough job to do. It’s no easy task to take a group of unique individuals and guide them toward a common goal. Today’s leaders must learn to adapt to their team’s needs and personalities, communicate effectively, as well as motivate and inspire increasingly diverse groups of people. Here are three ways you can more effectively lead your team to greater heights.
Optimize Leadership Styles
While it’s true that all leaders have many of the same great qualities in common, there are also many ways to be a leader. The style of execution will vary from one leader to the next, and may even change depending on the team members themselves.
When leading your team, it’s important to recognize how your team members are responding to your leadership style. When you see certain team members resisting your efforts or not reacting to your guidance as desired, it’s tempting to see the team member as being insubordinate. But that isn’t always the case. Sometimes team members are reacting negatively to your style, rather than to your message. Remember, you likely learned how to lead by emulating those who led you in the past. But just because their leadership style worked well on you, that doesn’t mean the same style will work for those under you. To be an effective leader, sometimes you have to change the way you interact with your team and mold your style in a way that your leadership can be more effective.
Set Clear Roles and Responsibilities
In order to achieve effective teamwork, it’s important that everyone stays organized and the leader keeps the team functioning smoothly, and in harmony. Some companies, like Houdini’s Room Escape, know that group activities build trust and relieve conflict. When everyone knows what is expected of them and understands their own responsibilities, the team is able to function smoothly and efficiently. Don’t leave any room for confusion. Make sure everyone knows what they’re supposed to do, so that nothing gets overlooked. One way to do this is through limited access rights within a software solution that multiple people use, such as Fishbowl. Remember, when all is said and done, if the team doesn’t hit their targets, it doesn’t matter who’s at fault. The leader is always responsible.
Acknowledge the Small Victories
Most people know what it’s like to be reprimanded for a minor mistake while having their strengths overlooked. It happens all the time, and it causes more frustration on the job than just about any other problem. As the team leader, you will likely have certain policies and procedures in place that must be enforced to the letter, and because of that you’ll often find yourself having to correct your team members on a regular basis. This is necessary, to some extent, but it also tends to cross over into micromanagement and becomes incredibly annoying. Don’t nag your people to death over every little thing they do wrong. Instead, always take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Recognize all the value that your team members bring to the table every day. Celebrate their successes. Praise their accomplishment. Don’t be weird about it, but be a genuine encouragement to them as they carry out their tasks.
When leading your team every day, be sure to remain open to feedback. Pay attention to your team members, value their contributions and make sure each of them understands not only their individual responsibilities, but their place in the bigger picture as well.
Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym.