Diana Keith asked:
Let’s take a look at a familiar team scenario:
You’ve assembled an exceptional team for an upcoming project, and spent time and money choosing members based on their experience, personalities, and skills pertaining to the job at hand. You know you have the talent to get the job done, so there is no doubt that everyone on the team is able to make a solid contribution.
Except, very little seems to be getting accomplished. Communication is minimal, team motivation is meager, and strategy sessions are like pulling teeth. In fact, no one even wants to look you in the eye.
You, as the leader, are very perplexed. These are the very same people who, last quarter, put together and executed a very impressive project. Their project manager gave them a great recommendation. So what’s so different about this project? Why isn’t the team motivated? Maybe they are tired because they worked so hard last quarter. Maybe they are sick of each other.
The main thing that’s changed for this high performing team is their leader and his or her leadership style. Your leadership style is your approach for interacting or working with your team, and it can make or break the results you’re after.
What’s Your Leadership Style?
The wrong leadership style can easily become a threat to your team’s motivation and success. So what’s the right leadership style?
When you’re working within a team environment, the leader should take on more of a coaching role with experienced team members. Unfortunately, new or less experienced leaders often try to take charge or apply a very powerful approach.
Those leaders who overpower their teams can create unnecessary fear, interpersonal conflicts, and an overall feeling in the team that the contributions of individual members do not matter. This can lead to low productivity, lousy morale, and wasted time and money. Ouch.
Quickly Get Your Team Up To Speed
Begin to lead successful teams and reap all the benefits that high performing teams have to offer by developing a leadership style that is both motivating and supportive to your team.
Six Team Leadership Tips For Management Success
1. Assess whether or not a team leader is even needed before one is assigned. Sometimes the team can self-manage the project.
2. Participate but don’t take over. Let the team work out the planning and strategy details together.
3. Keep in mind, the one who speaks the most in team meetings is perceived as the leader. Give all members the opportunity to contribute.
4. Train the team together when possible to build camaraderie and a shared understanding. Train along side them to build rapport.
5. When appropriate and with notice, be unavailable for a team meeting or presentation. When done right, this lets the team know you trust them.
6. Ask your team for feedback on how they think the project is going. Give them the control they need to present and implement alternative approaches.
Leading High Performance Teams begins with a strategic action plan for the right team culture.
My Suggestion: Start with examining your own leadership style, and then put an action plan in place to align your approach with the results you’re after.
The Big Message here is to really assess where you are and determine what changes you need to make to take your team and business to the next level.