6 Simple Steps to Becoming an Effective Team Leader
Being a team leader means being able to inspire the respect, confidence and action in your team for effective performance, creativity and productivity. The truth is that leading a team for the first time can be challenging. There’s no bedrock of personal experience embedded in how well to discharge your duties. As Jason Olson wrote; “the greatest asset in leading teams and managing projects is not found in technical tools and procedures but in skillfully relating to people.”
Here are six key steps to becoming a more effective leader:
Lead by example
Leadership by example is the best kind of leadership. Because people follow the examples of a leader, it becomes pertinent therefore for leaders to show good example to their followers. Team leaders generally do the work alongside of their team members. If you’re the lazy kind of leader, your team will become lazy and productivity will drop. A good team leader should work hard and be an inspiration to the team.
Don’t criticize, gossip or complain about people
The surest way to demotivate team members is to constantly gossip, criticize or complain about them. When they falter, call them to order and give proper correction accordingly. Don’t be a leader who speaks ill about people behind their backs. Nothing destroys an organization more than a leader who is not respected and valued by it’s followers.
Earn your teams respect
You have to earn your teams respect. Demanding it can be a disease that will be incurable. Being a team leader or being chosen to lead a team is a great privilege. Though you are in charge of your team, and therefore above the other members, your position as the leader needs to be respected by the members of your team. Carry a positive attitude towards your team as a whole, and towards each member individually. Listen to your team and get everyone’s input.
You will sometimes have to be creative and make an intuitive decision on the fly. This decision may not always be what everyone in your team wants. Explain clearly why you made the decision you did, and ask for input or feedback from your team. Listen to what your team has to say, and value the ideas that come your way. People will be more willing to accept your leadership role when everyone knows each opinion is valued and considered.
know your team
Leadership is all about how you influence your team to achieve its objectives—something you’ll struggle to do if you don’t get to know your team members and what makes them tick. Take time to listen to your team members; find out what their aspirations are, get ideas, and spot their potential strengths and weaknesses. Knowing the people you’re working with is the most important step to bonding with the team and establishing their respect and trust. The old adage of listening twice as much as you speak still holds true.
admit when you are wrong
Take a moment and think this through. Nobody is perfect. You are not perfect either. So why should you think that as a leader you’re you are always right? you can and do make mistakes. One of the greatest personality traits you can develop is that of humility. We all make mistakes, and rather than deny and repeat those mistakes, great leaders admit their failures and learn from experience. If you’re honest and humble enough to own up to your mistake, apologize to those affected, and work to avoid repeating your mistake; you will gain the respect of your team.