In 2012, the technology giant Google decided to launch Project Aristotle to find out what makes a team effective. It initially thought creating good teams depended on selecting employees whose skills complemented each other.
But a two-year study of about 150 teams in the company revealed it was less about who was on a team and more about how the team worked together that made it successful.
Google researchers found the best performing teams had one thing in common: they felt psychologically safe or secure about sharing their ideas without feeling judged or criticized. The other factors leading to success in teams are dependability, structure, and clarity.
Google’s insights are valuable for anybody managing a team. Good managers ensure their teams feel psychologically safe.
Let us look at some team management tips to build efficient teams that work smoothly and deliver their best.
How to manage teams?
If you are wondering how to handle a team you can begin by opening up a clear line of communication. Precise internal communication increases efficiency and boosts the team’s morale.
You should also foster a culture for open and free dialogue. Your team should feel comfortable sharing feedback and airing grievances. Hearing each person out is important when managing a team. This makes every team member feel respected and heard. Good communication goes a long way in keeping a team focused, efficient, and motivated.
Acknowledgment of work well done
One of the core team management skills is acknowledging your team's effort and success. A good leader is generous with praise and appreciative of their team's efforts. Some leaders only criticize their team when things go wrong and never appreciate work well done. This leads to low motivation and low confidence.
You don't have to make grand gestures when appreciating others' hard work and success. Even a few words of encouragement and a smile will inspire and motivate your team. When managing a team, remember to focus on both their successes and failures.
4. Delegation of workload
One of the most important team management tips is to delegate the work. This means knowing how to assign tasks to the right people instead of trying to do everything yourself.
A clear division of responsibility in teams ensures that no single person is overworked or underworked.
Spend some time planning the delegation of the tasks in a big project. This will make the execution much easier. Managing a team effectively is about knowing how to utilize the talents of your teammates well.
5. Managing conflict
When a diverse group of people works together, conflicts and disagreements are inevitable. Team members may disagree and miscommunication can lead to conflicts.
Managing interpersonal and intra-group conflicts is an extremely important step in managing a team. You can use the Thomas Kilmann framework or other conflict resolution models to ensure a healthy work environment and high productivity.
6. Motivating the team
One of the most important yet underappreciated team management skills is motivating the team. A simple ‘we can do it!’ in a meeting can go a long way in motivating a team. When you are managing a team you must keep an eye on the overall team spirit and positivity.
Failures and setbacks can lead to low morale and dejection. A good team leader will always encourage and motivate their team in such situations. A motivated team will stop at nothing to achieve their goal. This is why motivation is one of the most important team management skills.
7. Focus on team development
How to manage teams is a question many managers ask. The answer is simple: just pay attention to every individual member of the team. Each team member must feel supported, valued and motivated to do their best. Have regular check-in conversations. Listen closely when team members share grievances.
It's also important to build the capacity of your team. Regular workshops for skill development and strengthening inter-personal professional relationships will the team happy and increase productivity. Help your team develop team management skills and soft skills. Plan team-building exercises to strengthen team spirit.
Harappa Education offers a course called Managing Teamwork in which you can learn various team management skills. The course teaches concepts and frameworks such as the GRIN (Goals, Roles, Interdependence, Norms) Framework on the four key characteristics of effective teams. With the help of world-class professional faculty and the team management tips they share from their personal experience, you can learn to lead teams successfully. Enroll for the course to increase your team’s productivity!
Explore topics such as Conflict Management Techniques, the Characteristics of an Effective Team, the Thomas Kilmann Model, the Types of Conflicts in an Organization & How to Manage Crisis from our Harappa Diaries section in order to build trust-rich relationships at work.
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