by Danielle Gault
Edited by Diana O'Reilly
Click here for a PDF version of this teamwork article.
Most new team leaders say that they need to develop more leadership skills and to increase their ideas and techniques for improving their interaction with others. When they step into a team leadership role, they gain a certain degree of power simply from the authority granted them in their newly assigned position. They have to make decisions and they have to get work done through others.
Leaders have to have clear goals and good communication skills to translate these goals to others. If it were that easy, we wouldn’t have so many books written about leading others. Technically, we can all do our jobs and that is why we are hired. It is dealing with people and their expectations and needs that make teamwork and leading others a challenge.
Some people need many pats on the back and acknowledgment of their results; some need to feel competent and be continuously challenged; others need to play it safe for security reasons and don’t like to take risks or stick their necks out because they may have had them chopped off in another workplace.
If you are clear, concise, consistent, and fair, you will maximize results by focusing on objectives that you can measure. In doing this, you are accomplishing your job. If you feel the need to be liked at the expense of standards, you will fail. If you feel defensive if someone challenges your ideas about getting the job done, you will fail. Your efficiency and effectiveness is measured by productivity, quality of results, innovation, and constructive initiatives from your team as it evolves. Never is this truer than how you deal with team conflict.
Every team will have conflict at some time. As a good team leader, it is critical to the team spirit that you face it, deal with it in a fair and constructive manner, and ensure your team that everyone is taken seriously and that results are critical to all team members.
Let any upset on your team simply tell you that you have something to address but never address any member of your team out of anger. Just let the anger register that you have something that is hard for you to say or something that may be hard for you to hear. And remember, it is only content and it can’t kill you but your reaction to it can!
Dealing effectively with conflict creates a team where more people will dare to take risks and in doing this, more creativity, innovation, and synergy will happen. This produces better teamwork and greater productivity because everyone feels challenged. When creativity flows on a team, you as the team leader will be recognized as a good, if not a great, team leader.
As a great team leader, you are comfortable with power because you are not afraid to share it with others. In sharing power with others, the power that your team gives you is the power that you have earned.
The tools for increasing your success rate as a team leader:
You will know you have succeeded in encouraging teamwork when there is more interaction, trust, respect, confidence and teamwork displayed back and forth between you and your team.
Danielle Gault is founder of Corporate & Wellness Training Services. She is available to assist companies and individuals with coaching, assertiveness, teambuilding, problem-solving and more.
For more information, please contact us.