Being a team leader is no small thing; you have to direct people, which can always be challenging. Leaders have unique responsibilities and duties, especially since they have to ensure their business or workplace is running smoothly. So if you’re looking for some tips on how to be a better team leader, look no further. This article provides 10 ways that you can be a better team leader.
1) Know Your Team
It’s not enough to just understand your teammates by their work; you need to know that they have personal lives. Yes, they have to perform their jobs adequately, but letting those under you know that you see them as a human and not just a worker can go a long way. Forbes.com suggests remembering birthdays, weddings, or other significant moments in a persons life.
2) Leaders Are Readers
If you want to be a better team leader, then read–and build up other people in this way as well. The fact that you are reading this is a good sign; you apparently want to learn more about being a better team leader! Diversify your reading materials and make sure you are learning anything and everything you can, not just about your field. For example, you can decide to read one biography of every President. Doing this will allow you to not only learn some history, but also increase your leadership skills by showing you how the Nations leaders have managed the entire United States of America.
If someone does something good, tell them! Compliments are always good to give, especially since so many workers will be looking for it. They want to feel that their work is being noticed–so notice it! Forbes.com claims “It not only gives people a sense of accomplishment, it inspires others to make efforts to go above and beyond their normal duties as well.” In other words, it will encourage workers to continue being diligent in their work, and perhaps even go beyond the call of duty.
4) Know Who You Are
You are a person; you have strengths, weaknesses, idiosyncrasies, and things that can set you off into a rage. As such, it’s important to know what your motives are and why you do what you do. This will allow you to understand what it’s like to work for you. Remember, your workers are constantly watching you–are you hard to approach? Do you often get visibly angry? All of these are questions that you should be able to answer for yourself. (source: drakepulse.com)
5) Encourage the Workers
Encourage those who are under you and support them in any ways you can. Make sure you are easy to talk to, which will allow you to have workers come up to you with any questions or concerns. This is especially important for a new team members who might be nervous and unsure of what to get started with. It’s important, though, to provide encourage for both good and bad times. (source: drakepulse.com)
6) Meet With Your Members
Setting up small meetings with your team members will help them have an open line of communication with you. If at all possible, be intentional about meeting with each individual team member and ask them how they are doing, how you can help them be more efficient/happier, and any concerns that they may have. This should be done every once in awhile, with some full team meetings thrown in as well.
7) Give Attention
Whenever you are talking with anyone from your team, make sure you are giving them your full attention. You do not want to be the leader who is constantly on their phone, looking around at other people, and all of sudden remembering something and then dismiss yourself while your worker stands there dumbfounded. If you’ve ever been around a leader who does these things, you know how difficult and frustrating it can be.
8) Ask for Feedback
If there is a manager or a team member who acts as a leader, don’t be afraid to ask him/her for feedback on how the other members are liking your leadership. The worst thing possible for you is to have a bunch of team members who hate working for you. So, get feedback wherever possible; from fellow leaders, managers, or even other professionals in a similar field as you. (source: businessnewsdaily.com)
9) Focus on Positives
Pessimism can bring people down. People will make mistakes, but constantly pointing them out will discourage a person, which will limit their effectiveness. Yes, you will have to point out mistakes so that they are not made again, but there is a way to do that without discouraging them; for example, if you are consistently giving positive feedback, too, then the negative won’t be as detrimental for them. (source: businessnewsdaily.com)
10) Know People’s Backgrounds
Like the article said earlier, you should understand people for who they are. Taking this a step further, try to understand your team members worldviews. If they are religious, learn a little about their specific religion. Whether or not you can talk about it in your work place is another topic; the point of learning about it is to learn more about them. If it’s important to them, you should at least know it!