Leading a team of your own isn’t always easy. It often involves lots of different personalities and clashes of opinion, so it’s important that you learn specific skills for dealing with a variety of situations. Whether you’re new to management or have many years of experience, here are some tips for effectively leading a team.
Get to know the people in your team
A good team leader will spend time getting to know their team, as this can help you identify their strengths, where they may need help, or even which learning style suits them. If the team has already been established before you were assigned as a leader, then you should try to work out the team dynamic and who really does what, as this will be helpful in the future.
Use software to track group work
If your team is working on a specific project, then it’s worth looking at specialist software so you can see at a glance what has been assigned, deadlines and what order work needs to be completed in. The Digital Project Manager has an informative blog about the different types of task management software, which can help you keep track and anticipate when problems might arise.
Ensure you have time to both manage and work
Being a manager is a job in itself, so it can’t simply be tacked on to your existing workload. From appraisals to training, managers carry out a wide range of important functions, which means you need dedicated time to be a manager. If you are effectively doing two jobs, you need to speak to higher-ups and decide which function is most important.
Be a role model
If you want your team members to exhibit certain behaviors, from hard work to enthusiasm, it’s important that you be a role model and show these behaviors yourself. Any negative traits you show at work are likely to be picked up by your team, whether consciously or subconsciously, so make sure you take criticism on board and work on self-development.
Managers shouldn’t just be there to dish out criticisms and tell people they are doing things wrong. It’s important to praise employees who have obviously gone the extra mile, whether it’s putting in more hours to hit a deadline or helping a customer with a difficult case. There are many ways you can reward employees, from certificates to small gifts, which can mean a lot to members of your team and keep them happy.
When you are a manager, it can sometimes be tempting to just do certain pieces of work yourself, rather than explaining these tasks to other people. However, delegating is an important part of your role as a manager, so you should build trust with your employees and let them get on with their work. Micromanaging employees doesn’t motivate them, it often leads to them being less productive, so by building trust you can give them room to breathe and trust that the work will be done to the best of their ability.