Whether you’re a brand new team leader or struggling with a current assignment, becoming as effective as you can is probably on your mind a lot. When it’s time for a yearly appraisal, managers evaluate team leaders on how effectively they lead in addition to their corporate fit.
Forbes suggests that assembling a team to bring a concept to reality is only the first step in being a good team leader. Here are some of the site’s tips on how to become more effective in that role:
#1 Learn to Delegate
Although you might be a creative genius, you have to be able to trust your team members to progress past a concept to reality. Delegating responsibility could well be the most important skill you develop as a team leader. If you have micro-manager tendencies, start by delegating small tasks.
#2 Communicate Clearly
If you get blank looks from your team, you’re not communicating clearly enough. Talk to your staff daily, whether in person or via Skype, and set aside a regular time when you’re available to address issues. If communication is your weakest point, consider participating in a skill-building organization like Toastmasters International.
#3 Show Your Sense of Humor
Potential catastrophes like a Web site crash almost always have a humorous side. Show yours, and your team’s morale and productivity will soar. Appropriate humor creates a happy, healthy workplace.
#4 Clean up Any Honesty Issues
“The speed of the leader is the speed of the gang,” a saying SearchQuotes attributes to the late businesswoman Mary Kay Ash, is important. If you want your team to have an honest, ethical reputation, set the example. That means cleaning up any little issues with expense reports or time and attendance. Become squeaky clean if you aren’t already.
#5 Do What You Say You Will
If you said you’d hold a meeting in your home on Saturday and feed everyone, do it. It’s wise to make a note of what you promised your staff, whether on a calendar or on your phone. Becoming a better team leader isn’t just about gaining a reputation for working hard. It’s about being a leader your team and others respect.
#6 Learn to Inspire
You’ll be a much better leader if you can inspire those who work on your team. Often the time to start developing this skill is when you notice that workload is heavy, and morale is fairly low. If you’re not a natural cheerleader, look around and learn how others in your company inspire workers to stay dedicated and take breaks when necessary.
#7 Develop a Positive Attitude
Leaders with positive attitudes motivate teams to continue being successful. Positive attitudes mean above-average energy levels and productivity. How do you show a positive attitude? One way is taking a personal interest in team members by bringing in snacks or treating them to a brew after work.
Entrepreneur.com says that since there aren’t many natural-born leaders at work sites, most workers have to train themselves to become great team leaders. Here are some tips to do just that:
#8 Dress to Suggest Influence
Make sure that what you wear reflects your professional and personal brand. How do you learn? Look around you. Notice the appearance of workers you consider great leaders.
#9 Don’t Wait for Feedback
Ask for it. Team members are often afraid to complain. Ask each one how you can become a more effective team leader.
#10 Treat Team Members Like Customers
If you ask your team to treat customers courteously, treat them the same way. Team members notice the way you treat them and others in your company. Periodically ask them what you can do to help them. The most effective team leader spends a lot of time being a servant leader.