Whether you are currently in charge of a team or about to take on one, leading a team can be a tough task. In order to make the experience successful for everyone involved, you need to have the right practices in place.
Below are eight tips to help you become a better team leader in 2019
Get to know your team members
Leadership is greatly about the influence you have on your team and getting them to achieve your objectives. The only way to be successful at this is to know who your team members are and what makes them tick.
Get to know them by finding out if they have any issues as well as what their own aspirations are. Try to identify individual strengths and weaknesses so you can lead them effectively. This will help foster a team bond and you will also gain their respect and trust.
Remember to be fair
As a team leader, you are in charge of assigning tasks and setting schedules for your team. Personalities differ and you may prefer some coworkers over others but showing preferences is something you want to stay away from. If you find you are having trouble being fair when it comes to delegating tasks, ask for help from your manager. They can take a look at your task assignments and offer their opinion. You can also switch things up by allowing employees take turns on picking which assignments they want.
Conduct yourself professionally
As a team leader, your coworkers are looking at your every move. If you are outside of your office chit chatting all morning, they will take notice. Not to mention their level of respect for you will start to diminish. Lead by example by working hard so your team members know what your expectations are.
In addition, office politics are always lurking. Watch how you handle complaints between coworkers. If there is problem, fix it. Stay away from gossiping about it to others in the office. Engaging in office gossip is just another way for your team to lose respect for you as their leader.
Don’t make yourself exempt from tasks
Just because you are team leader does not mean you are exempt from doing the “mundane” tasks. Whether it is making sure the office kitchen is tidy or the copier always has paper, your name should be part of the rotation along with everyone else. While these tasks may seem below your pay grade, your team members will definitely respect you more if they see you in the trenches with them.
Furthermore, when it comes knowing team productivity, you need to have a team progress tracking software in place. This will allow you to see what each person is working on, what they have finished up as well as what is in the pipeline. Knowing in real time where everyone is with their work is essential to a productive team environment.
Be prepared to be the “bad” guy
As team leader, you may not have direct hiring and firing power, but your input will be expected in these matters. You will most likely be a part of interviews as well as situations that may require disciplinary action. Even though a co worker may be a friend, you need to be ready to enforce whatever is necessary in that given situation. That could be termination or suspension. It is not fun being the bad guy, but handling situations fairly and appropriately is critical to the overall success of your team.
Follow Company Policy
It may be tempting to bend the rules and allow an exception, but don’t without approval from your boss. Following company policy is essential to protecting not only you but the company from any accusations of discrimination.
Have the right attitude
The attitude and presence you show up to work with has an effect on everyone. As a team leader, your attitude sets the example for your team. So do what you need to do to show up pleasant and positive. It truly is contagious and your team will be ready to work harder and better together.
Consider what others have to say
The sign of a successful leader is one that encourages others to share their ideas. As you are thinking about the type of team environment you want to have, keep this key point in mind. You want people to feel comfortable speaking up and sharing their opinions and views. By doing this, you will have a team that will be that much more innovative, creative and ready to work hard for you.