Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple, once said, “Management is about persuading people to do things they do not want to do, while leadership is about inspiring people to do things they never thought they could.” One of the factors that helped Jobs lead his business to success was his ability to build an effective team.
Apple’s success is proof that good leadership and efficient teamwork result in positive business outcomes. This is why it’s important for managers and leaders to learn the best ways to drive teamwork.
Let’s begin by understanding what team leading is.
What Is Team Leading?
Team leading is the process of motivating people to act towards a desired outcome. Effective team leading helps inspire people and engage them to fully utilize their potential. In short, a team leader is someone who provides direction, guidance and support, besides overseeing the overall functioning of the team.
Leading a team may seem daunting but it’s a skill that can be mastered over time. As a team leader, your actions have a substantial impact on the organization. Therefore, it’s important that you embrace certain qualities that can help you become an effective leader.
How To Lead A Team Effectively
To master leadership skills, you can start by adopting certain habits that can bring fundamental changes in your approach. Harappa Education’s course Managing Teamwork will teach you the fundamentals of team management. Learn how teams can get formed and grow fruitfully by using the Bruce Tuckman Model. Additionally, the GRIN framework (goals, roles, interdependence and norms) will teach you about the core characteristics that any successful team must have.
Here are a few tips that will teach you how to lead a team efficiently:
1. Communicate Clearly
One of the essential requirements for effectively leading a team is good communication. Successful leaders present their expectations in a manner that’s clear and compelling for team members. However, communication should be a two-way street. In addition to practicing the art of persuasion, you should keep your doors open. Listen actively and respond respectfully to your team members’ ideas and thoughts.
2. Engage Your Employees
Employee engagement is a powerful motivation tool for an organization. Being a team leader, you’re at the frontline, working with and managing your employees. If you provide timely feedback and keep their best interests in mind, your team members will feel valued at the workplace. They’ll feel responsible for you and their work. Your employee engagement qualities can empower your employees and keep them driven towards the organization’s goals.
3. Trust Your Employees
A quality team leader is one who trusts the employees. You may find yourself micromanaging your employees because of a lack of trust or because the overall responsibility may get overwhelming. But it’s crucial to keep reminding yourself that each member of your team may have a different pace and different learning styles. Step aside and let your team take charge of their tasks or deadlines. Intervene only when absolutely necessary.
4. Be Fair And Kind
Leading a team can get stressful when your employees make mistakes. Let your employees know that it’s always better to fail and acknowledge their mistakes. As a leader, you’re also a mentor. You have the capacity to help your employees learn from their mistakes. On the other hand, some employees may be over-achievers and excel at their tasks. This shouldn’t stop you from giving equal importance to each team member.
5. Balance the Personal & Professional
Leading a team also means building personal relationships with your team members. Show them that you’re capable of an appropriate friendship in addition to your working relationship. Be the leader who genuinely cares and prioritizes the team’s well-being. For example, if you notice that one of your team members isn’t in a good mood, ask them about their day before you start to talk about work.
A team leader shoulders many responsibilities and it can get a little overwhelming to handle everything, but remember that you’re allowed to make mistakes. Leading a team doesn’t have to be a flawless pursuit. Admit to your team that you may not have all the answers to their questions. Show them that you’re capable of being vulnerable and transparent. Set examples through realistic and approachable leadership qualities!
Explore topics & skills such as Leaders vs Managers, How to Build Trust in a Team, Teamwork Skills, Rapport Building & Teamwork Examples from our Harappa Diaries section and build trust-rich relationships.
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