You know that you’ve achieved a noticeable position at your job when you’re put in charge of a project. This means that you are responsible not only for the outcome of the whole project but specifically how well those working beneath you perform. Becoming a project manager and a team leader is no easy feat, but you can do it. While leading a team, a leader may feel inspired, content, creative, exhausted, and even frustrated at times. That escalated fast, didn’t it? But it’s true. Where teams are integral to just about any company, effective teamwork is seldom achieved due to the diversity of people involved and the efficiency of the leader. When people with different personalities and works styles are put together to collaborate, the result isn’t always great. Some people are difficult to work with (you’re thinking about them, right?), which makes working together a challenge. Through all the discrepancies, absenteeism, and procrastination of the team members, the team leader can manage the team and turn all this into productivity.
Here are some pro tips that you can use to manage your team better-
1. Communicate, Communicate
Good communication is the key to productivity in teamwork. If the leader communicates the objectives, roles, and responsibilities and cooperates with all the team members, efficiency ensues automatically. Create a culture of open communication for the team to know they can voice their opinions, suggestions, or concerns. It also allows the team leader to stay up to date and manage any discrepancy as soon as it occurs.
You may provide your team members with honest and constructive feedback on their work. This will boost their confidence and help them thrive and produce better results. A word of caution here: Do not go overboard with the feedback. Highly negative feedback will bring the confidence down of individuals. In teamwork, it is usually about comparison and people feel more strongly than if it would have been about the work they did individually (not as a team member). A lot of praise may make them slack. The emphasis is on constructive feedback.
Let the teams have a communication panel like instant messaging or a chat channel that will allow them to communicate with each other and you. It makes the process a little less formal than email and lets you work more productively with a positive attitude.
If your team is working online, communication with emotional intelligence is even more important. This is because you can’t always assess the situation over online settings. You can use chatting platforms to have clearer communication with the team online.
2. Be Transparent
Transparency in the work environment is known to make teams more productive, content, and of course, accountable. The communication needed to achieve efficiency in teamwork can be achieved by being transparent in all activities. Transparency allows the team members to feel that they are in the loop, which means that they are respected and valued members of the team. Transparency also helps in establishing rapport and mutual respect among the team members. This is because they know the responsibilities of other members and how they are individually playing a vital role within the bigger picture.
Transparency is also essential for the team members to understand how important their work is to keep the team dynamic working. You can use online e-rostering software to schedule activities and make them visible to everyone. As all team members can view each assigned task, they will feel more responsible and accountable and show more productivity. Such a system can also help in managing absences, time-tracking, and even payroll accounting. Going digital with scheduling can sometimes seem hard, but it makes life easier for not just the team leader but also all the members.
Transparency within the team members helps in building more confidence to contribute with solutions and ideas, as they have a better idea of what each member’s task is.
3. Learn to Prioritize
To manage a team effectively, it is essential to be a good planner. When all the essential tasks are laid out in front of you, you need to know which one is more important. Learning how to prioritize is not just great for teamwork. It is a life skill that allows you to make your life manageable. It can help you make decisions on what thing or task has more importance and what can wait.
The decision-making needed to make these priorities is a skill you need to get the best out of your team. To understand which task needs to be done first, you must have a crystal clear idea of your project. You also need to select the way you want to manage a particular project. For example, agile project management would require you to set smaller goals and have constant feedback. So, you can set smaller goals first and then work towards achieving the success of your project and your organization.
If you do not know how to prioritize tasks, you might leave the most critical task at the last minute and end up in a messy situation that will jeopardize your project and your team members.
Your team management will improve significantly if you understand how to prioritize the tasks and your team member. As a leader, it is your responsibility to schedule the tasks according to their significance and urgency and the skill set of the team members. As you make the life of your team members easier through better scheduling, they will make your life better by being more productive.
4. Empower Your Team
A great leader helps the team members have opportunities for growth and development. Provide your team with various prospects like degrees or certificates that might help them in their career development. You can also consider on-the-job learning opportunities for your team members. Ensure that the team understands that you have their best interest at heart in terms of personal and career development. You can stay up to date with your industry and when an opportunity arises, like a workshop or a conference, you can support your team members to attend those.
As you nurture the growth of your team, it doesn’t just help them, it also helps you and your organization as a whole. You can set reasonable goals and plan out the development of your team instead of waiting around for it.
Empowering your team members can also mean involving them in the decision-making process of your project. Encourage them to voice their opinions on various activities, and take their suggestions seriously. This will not only boost their confidence but also make them more productive. Another vital element of empowering others is giving constructive feedback
You need to recognize the talent in your team and discover who will benefit the most from an educational upgrade. As you help them polish their skills, it will essentially help your team grow. When the team understands that you care for their personal growth as well, they will put more effort into their work.
5. Lead by Example
Be professional, and your team will follow suit. Being a leader does not mean you are not accountable. You are more accountable than anyone on the team. Always act on what you think is right. When you show the team what you expect in their tasks, work ethics, and punctuality, they will understand it better and respect you for it.
Be knowledgeable about the intricate details of your industry. Do not shy away from the grunt work. Even with an impossible schedule and huge responsibilities, try your best to work side by side with the team. However, do not even think of micromanaging. This leaves a bad impression and nobody likes a micromanager!
Always be careful of what you say around your staff. The way in which you word things can build morale. It is very important that you watch what you say while communicating while giving feedback, even while giving tasks. Be respectful and always give them support.
Take responsibility. Own your mistakes if you make them. But not just that, ensure that you take it upon yourself to rectify it. The problem with being a leader is that blame always rolls uphill. A good leader still takes responsibility for the whole team and does not devalue the members. When you do that, your staff will also learn to own up to their mistakes and take responsibility.
Listen to your colleagues. When you listen to those who operate with you, they also learn to listen to each other.
6. Set Boundaries
Being friendly and available is great for open communication. But it is not good for your mental well-being if you are needlessly getting a call from a member at 3 am. Setting boundaries is an essential part of your role as a boss. You can be easy-going, but you will not be able to work effectively if you’re too easy-going.
Physical boundaries are one of the most important factors to establish. It involves your body and your space, and your comfort level with another person’s proximity. You need to establish these carefully to ensure professionalism within your team.
Emotional and intellectual boundaries among colleagues are essential but not easily achieved. When you meet and communicate daily, things come up. But as a leader, you do need to keep balance in how much you involve the subordinates in your personal life. Going to lunch and taking breaks is great for team morale, but setting boundaries between personal life and business is poignant to keeping a healthy lifestyle.
Workload and time boundaries need to be set if you don’t want that 3 am call. You can set a schedule with everyone clarifying when they can contact you, and tell them what constitutes an emergency. Sometimes it feels like there are simply not enough hours in the week to get the work done, but a healthy personal lifestyle is essential. If you take every query from every member, you will become unproductive.
The best way to establish these boundaries is to set them beforehand to let them know what to expect.
7. Emotional Intelligence
Managing one’s own emotions around the staff is highly important. Emotional intelligence measures how much you stay in tune with your emotions and your ability to have thorough situational mindfulness. Emotional intelligence is a compelling tool that allows leaders to be aware and respond to their own emotions and others as well.
Empathy plays a huge part in the management of a team. Leaders need to be able to put themselves in their subordinates’ shoes, understand their situations and have compassion. Empathy allows you to understand these people better, which helps you in the decision-making process with tasks and activities.
With emotional intelligence, leaders can establish better relationships with their staff. Building and maintaining healthy relationships is essential to acquire more emotional intelligence. These relationships help in establishing better productivity in the workplace. Self-awareness lets you understand more about achieving work-life balance.
Emotional intelligence helps in communicating effectively with the rest of the members. Most of the discrepancies are a consequence of failing to communicate effectively. Higher emotional intelligence helps in counteracting the discrepancies and ensures a positive work environment.
A person who is developed with high emotional intelligence can influence and positively motivate others. A great leader possesses higher emotional intelligence with a keen sense of self-awareness and empathy along with other social skills that help him or her to build good interpersonal relationships.
Leadership is all about effectively managing your people. Great leaders understand themselves, their skillset, goals, their team members, and how to empower them. To effectively manage a team, you need to always be ready to improve and develop yourself continuously by asking your team for feedback. As a leader, you have a choice to help your tea work in a positive environment. As you support your team, you will see the benefits, not just in the well-being but also in the results that are produced. Thus, effective management of a team helps with greater outcomes.