Two years after taking my first full-time teaching job, I was asked to be the team leader for my fourth grade team. I was flattered and told my principal, yes! I worked with a great group of teachers. Still, being in a leadership position can be difficult. Here are 10 ways to be a better team leader at work.
1. Ask for Input
As a leader, you shouldn’t be a pushover. Ultimately, you need to lead and choose what is best for your company/school/organization. Still asking for input helps you be aware of others’ thoughts and feelings. Another colleague may have some great insight or bring an important matter to your attention.
2. Be Appreciative
Everyone like to be appreciated. If someone worked late or produced some great results, it’s a good idea to recognize their efforts. A thank you note or a small gift card is a simple way to show you noticed their hard work. Even verbal accolades can brighten someone’s day.
3. Be Organized
Being organized shows you have it together and can help a leader be more productive. A team leader can organize data into helpful graphs and charts. Also, provide your staff calendars and important dates.
4. Set Goals
It’s important to set goals with your colleagues. For instance, as teachers, we would write lesson plans with a goal in mind for our students.
5. Promote a Positive Work Environment
You don’t have to be best friends with your team. However, you do need to promote a positive work environment. Taking part in team building activities, professional development workshops or a working lunch are a few ideas to foster a productive and positive work culture. Of course, being passionate about your job is sure to be contagious!
6. Communicate, Frequently
People don’t like surprise deadlines, sudden meetings or unexplained changes. Thus, communicate with your staff, frequently. At the beginning of the week have a set meeting or email communication to give your colleagues direction.
7. Don’t Waste Time
Have you ever been to a meeting or lecture where the leader seemed to be wasting time? Perhaps, they were reading their handout or powerpoint verbatim without offering any new information or insight. Long meetings with a lot of empty conversation or busy work is a signal that you don’t value other people’s time.
8. Improve Yourself
It can be hard to be a good leader if you are not staying on top of industry trends and new developments. Reading books and magazines, taking continuing education courses and going to professional development conferences are a few ways to improve yourself and gain new knowledge.
9. Request Feedback
When I was a college professor, my students took an anonymous survey to rate me and give me feedback in a variety of areas. It was interesting to see where my students thought I was going well and where I needed to improve. Anonymous feedback allows people to be able to be more honest. However, verbal feedback is also helpful.
Once you get feedback, you should try to use it. If something isn’t going right, you should change your strategy.
These suggestions can help you be the leader you always wanted to be.
More from Melissa:
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