Successful leaders know how to master the key components for leading a successful team.
In my coaching work with leaders, overcoming teamwork frustrations to be more productive is a regular topic of discussion.
Thus, I thought I would share five common themes for team leadership development.
- Leaders must set the culture for their team, or it will be set by other less favourable influences:
Unfortunately, most leaders are not trained in this area. Some leaders think it is unimportant, and they end up paying a high price.
A team leader must put in place the rituals, practices, and behaviours for their team, by first modelling them and creating buy-in from each team member, along with agreed consequences for contravening them.
- Understanding team dynamics is critical for managing team engagement and morale:
Every team leader wants to lead their team effectively. Yet, leaders often neglect to manage the team as a unit, to get the best results possible.
When team leaders are aware of, and can manage team dynamics, such as, team stages, team communication, roles, conflict, change, accountability, meeting management, engagement, and development, they can assist in navigating through what often would be a big surprise to most team members yet are a normal part of team dynamics.
- Setting clear ground rules, and the process used, sets the path for higher performance:
Part of managing culture is setting ground rules for how the team will interact, communicate, and hold each other accountable to their various stakeholder responsibilities.
There must be full buy-in to the team ground rules, including how it brings benefit to each member, and what the consequences are for not following through. Many leaders simply focus on setting team objectives and goals and neglect clear agreed team ground rules.
- Knowing how to best conduct team meetings will save crucial time and increase productivity:
“Is a meeting even needed at this time?”, is a question that often never gets asked. If ever time can be wasted, it is during team meetings. “Are the best people present for the meeting?”, “Are people fully prepared for the meeting to contribute their best?”
Many leaders may know how to set a good agenda (many don’t), but they fail to lead them collaboratively, where members succinctly contribute different perspectives, generating the best ideas, and deriving quality decisions.
- Leaders who know how to manage conflict well will always outshine leaders who don’t:
If there is one constant topic I coach senior leaders in, it is conflict-management. Not only does this involve the management of the emotional responses of the leader, but it also involves areas such as, removing the fear of conflict from the team, tactics for handling it immediately, trust-building, timing, and reflective listening.
This is an area that each team member needs to grow in that not only impacts the team internally but improves key stakeholder relationships too.
In concluding, I want to quickly mention that coaching is an excellent process for improving teamwork. It can be applied to the team leader one-to-one as they lead their team. It can also be utilised as a modality for the team as a unit, where the coach has regular meetings with the whole team to create greater awareness and empowers the team (the leader being a part of the team) to operate more effectively as a unit.
Feel free to contact any of us at the Coaching Collective, if you want to know more about how we could assist you in your aspirations.