Tag: Team Leaders

Empowering Yourself as Team Leader

Empowering Yourself as Team Leader

Being a team leader leaves plenty of room for empowering yourself. Often times, you are expected to act independently, make decisions and resolve issues with little or no guidance. In this blog post, you are going to learn how to empower yourself through assertiveness, consensus building, conflict resolution and decision making.

Related: Leadership Outcome Based Team Building Activity

Being Assertive

Being assertive does not mean you have to be pushy. Dictionary.com defines assertive as being confidently aggressive or self-assured or positive. When you are a team leader, you will encounter times when you have to be assertive. This means pushing back, and being clear on what you need to get done.

Here are some five tips we call the Five B’s to becoming or demonstrating more assertiveness in your team:

  1. Be involved in the conversation. When you make a decision or state an opinion, include yourself in the statement. For example you might say, “I disagree or I have a different point of view.” You might say, “I like the idea or I think this is great.” In any case, place yourself in the conversation.
  2. Be brief. Being to the point demonstrates confidence in what you are saying. When you say too much, team members will tend to lose focus and question you. This is true also for written communication like email. Giving too many details weakens your message. Avoid this if you can.
  3. Be positive with your body language. Negative body language sends a message of low confidence. Make good eye contact and be willing to engage in dialogue even if it is a difficult discussion.
  4. Be direct. If you beat around the bush or try to find other ways to say things, this will affect your assertiveness. Do not be afraid of being direct. Be tactful in how you say it, but mumbling and grasping for the right words constantly shows lack of confidence.
  5. Be calm in conflict. Don’t lose your cool. Conflict is a normal part of our work life. Knowing this will help you react to it with calmness. If we are easily rocked by conflict you will lose your assertiveness because you will want to avoid conflict at all costs.

Being assertive takes time to develop. Practice a little at a time. You want to avoid becoming a Sherman tank and run everyone over. This is the extreme, and it could affect your ability to gain consensus.

Resolving Conflict

Conflict is normal. Most of us are passionate about our beliefs. We want so much to achieve our goals that sometimes we run right into conflict over it. The first thing in conflict resolution is to know that it will happen. Avoiding conflict is also unhealthy as it leads to harboring emotion and passive aggressiveness. It is better to engage in conflict and then move on to resolving the issue or gaining consensus.

There are two stages to conflict resolution. First, we need to contain the damage. Second, we have to move to a resolution. The biggest enemy to conflict resolution is time. Do not let time pass. Give some time to let the emotions settle, and then engage that team member as soon as you can. Call them, send an email, or walk over to their area. Be the bigger of the two. Make the first move. Say to yourself, “That if I do not move, no one will.” When you do find them, ask them if now is a good time to talk is. They may still be upset. If they are upset, set a time later that day to meet with them. If they are okay with you being there, then follow the steps to mending the relationship.

·         Conflict identified: state the issue or activities that made the encounter become heated. You might say, “I think we may have lost track of the purpose of the meeting” or “I believe we have strong viewpoints on the subject and it showed.”

·         Address the other party’s concern: you might say, “I know you are not in favor of (insert issue). I respect that.”

·         Listen to them: use your best listening skills and let them vent about the situation.

·         Mend relationships: tell the team member that your relationship with them is important and you value them. Apologize or at least leave on good terms.

During this time, you may want to avoid trying to resolve the issue that caused the conflict right away. Leave that for a different time. For now, your goal is to patch the relationship. Later, you will try to build consensus in order to move forward beyond the conflict.

If you experience a group conflict, perform the same technique. Get them back in the meeting room and have them vent and get things out respectfully. Take notes and adjourn the meeting for a later time to build consensus at the group leave.

Building Consensus

Dictionary.com defines consensus as a general agreement or concord. Sometimes we view consensus as total agreement. This is not the goal of building consensus. It takes negotiating and problem solving. You may run into problems with your peers or project team in getting everyone on board with an idea or you may be resolving a conflict. In any case, building a consensus is a skill worth developing.

Below are PEACE techniques for building consensus:

·         Problem defined: it is difficult to build consensus when you do not know what you are trying to overcome or achieve. Define the problem as a goal to achieve. Have the team give you the goals. Encourage those who are not participating to do so. Remember, you have to get a general agreement form all.

·         Everyone vents thoughts respectfully: you will find that team members will want to say things against opposing ideas. Encourage them to frame their venting positively and allow them to do it.

·         Alternative solutions explored: have the team come up with various solutions to the problem. Then reduce the alternatives to a short list.

·         Choice is made: before this is done, make sure everyone agrees that the alternative selected is the best for the team and they will support it. Make the choice.

·         Everyone agrees to support the solution: get everyone’s approval verbal and publicly in the meeting room before you adjourn.

Building consensus takes time and could happen over several team meetings, depending on the complexity of the issue. Nonetheless, bringing the team back to the table to reach a consensus should never stop.

If your role in the team is too involved, you may want to get someone who is not a part of the team to help facilitate the consensus building. Avoid getting the vice president or some other high ranking employee. This will shut the process down. They have to feel comfortable venting without any restrictions.

Making Decisions

Many times we are faced with situations that require us to choose among other options. Most of us want to make the right decision. However, we do not want to spend time doing so. Paralysis by analysis could become a problem, making us inefficient and hesitant in making a decision.

Related: Decision Making Outcome Based Team Building Activities

As team leader, you may face times when you have to make a decision on behalf of your manager. Below are some basic elements to making a decision:

·         You must have two or more options exist in order to make a decision

·         Brainstorming all possible alternatives for each option

·         Weighing the pros and cons of each alternative and its outcome

·         Narrow down the alternatives to a short list

·         Evaluate the remaining alternatives for risk, stakeholder impact and your comfort level

·         Decide on an alternative

·         Monitor outcome of selected alternative

·         Always have a backup plan ready in case first alternative does not work out.

If you are looking to make the perfect decision every time, you may be setting yourself up for a frustrating time. We cannot always predict everything that is going to take place once a decision is made. Careful planning and weighing of options is the best method to reaching a solution. Gut instinct could lead you into trouble. Do not make those kinds of decisions for your manager. It could cost them dearly. Finally, always document your process. This way you have something to refer to when asked why you chose that option.

A Survival Guide for the New Team Leader

A Survival Guide for the New Team Leader

Being a new team leader can be intimidating. How will you know what to do? What if you make mistakes? What if you don’t know the answer? In this blog, we will give you some tips to get you on the path to becoming a great team leader.

Related: Leadership Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Ask the Right Questions of the Right People

Have you heard the saying, “There’s no such thing as a stupid question”? It applies to supervisors and leaders too! Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Just make sure to do your research first, and to ask the right questions of the right people. This means that if you have a question about front-line activities, for example, go to the frontline workers. Or, for questions about payroll, you would talk to human resources.

Remember, open-ended questions will typically give the most information. These questions ask, “How?” or start with one of the W’s.

·         Who?

·         What?

·         Where?

·         When?

·         Why?

·         How?

If you’re shy about asking questions, try using the phrase, “I’m just curious.” For maximum effectiveness, these can be combined with the 5 W’s and the H. Some examples:

  • “I’m just curious, why do we process invoices by hand?”
  • “I’m just curious, when are employee benefits renewed?”
  • “I’m just curious, how often are these reports refreshed?”

Go to Gemba

“Gemba” is a Japanese term meaning, “the actual place.” It is a key concept in Lean methodology, a manufacturing-based system that aims to create maximum value with minimum waste.  “Going to gemba” means going to the place where the action is happening. If you want to see how invoices are processed, or if there is a problem with the process, go to the accounting department and watch the process yourself. If you want to understand more about how your company’s products are made, go to the assembly line. Watch what is happening, ask questions from the frontline staff, and get some hands-on experience. This inside knowledge can help you make better, smarter decisions, and can help you help your staff work smarter. For maximum benefit, make sure your team knows that you are there to observe and learn – not to judge or criticize.

Keep Learning!

The most important task for any team leader is to keep learning. A team leader’s responsibilities can cover many types of tasks, so there is always a lot to learn. Start small, but aim big. Set goals for yourself and keep working towards them.

Key skill areas to focus on include:

Training doesn’t always have to take place in the classroom, either. Listening to your team and colleagues, reading books and journals, and watching educational videos, are all excellent ways to learn more and keep improving yourself.

What Your Body Language is Communicating to Your Team

What Your Body Language is Communicating to Your Team

When you are communicating something to your team, your body is sending a message that is as powerful as your words. When talking about body language, remember that our interpretations are just that – common interpretations. For example, the person sitting with his or her legs crossed may simply be more comfortable that way, and not feeling closed-minded towards the discussion. Body language can also mean different things across different genders and cultures. However, it is good to understand how various behaviors are often seen, so that we can make sure our body is sending the same message as our mouth.

Related: Communication Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Think about these scenarios for a moment. What non-verbal messages might you receive in each scenario? How might these non-verbal messages affect the verbal message?

  • Your boss asks you to come into his office to discuss a new project. He looks stern and his arms are crossed.
  • A team member tells you they have bad news, but they are smiling as they say it.
  • You tell a co-worker that you cannot help them with a project. They say that it’s OK, but they slam your office door on their way out.

In this article we will show you how to use body language to become a more effective communicator. It is also important that as a team leader you learn to interpret body language, add it to the message you are receiving, and understand the message being sent appropriately.

All About Body Language

Body language is a very broad term that simply means the way in which our body speaks to others. We have included an overview of three major categories below.

The way that we are standing or sitting

Think for a moment about different types of posture and the message that they relay.

  • Sitting hunched over typically indicates stress or discomfort.
  • Leaning back when standing or sitting indicates a casual and relaxed demeanor.
  • Standing ramrod straight typically indicates stiffness and anxiety.

The position of our arms, legs, feet, and hands

  • Crossed arms and legs often indicate a closed mind.
  • Fidgeting is usually a sign of boredom or nervousness.

Facial expressions

  • Smiles and frowns speak a million words.
  • A raised eyebrow can mean inquisitiveness, curiosity, or disbelief.

Chewing one’s lips can indicate thinking, or it can be a sign of boredom, anxiety, or nervousness.

Interpreting Gestures

A gesture is a non-verbal message that is made with a specific part of the body. Gestures differ greatly from region to region, and from culture to culture. Below we have included a brief list of gestures and their common interpretation.

Gesture Interpretation
Nodding head Yes
Shaking head No
Moving head from side to side Maybe
Shrugging shoulders Not sure; I don’t know
Crossed arms Defensive
Tapping hands or fingers Bored, anxious, nervous
Shaking index finger Angry
Thumbs up Agreement, OK
Thumbs down Disagreement, not OK
Pointing index finger at someone/something Indicating, blaming
Handshake Welcome, introduction
Flap of the hand Doesn’t matter, go ahead
Waving hand Hello
Waving both hands over head Help, attention
Crossed legs or ankles Defensive
Tapping toes or feet Bored, anxious, nervous

 

 

Develop Each Team Member as an Individual

Develop Each Team Member as an Individual

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” – John C. Maxwell

When you develop your team members, they become better at what they do and that benefits both you and the organization. There is a difference between equipping team members and developing team members. When you equip someone you are teaching them how to do a task or perform a duty. When you develop someone you help them improve as an individual. You help them acquire personal qualities that will benefit them in many areas of life.

Development is Long Term

Equipping a team member is usually quick and straightforward, whereas development of a team members always takes time because it requires change on the part of the individual being developed. The development of your team members is an ongoing process and you should have a plan in place which includes consistent, regularly scheduled activities. These activities geared towards developing your team members can include books, teaching lessons, conferences, soft skills courses and seminars. As team leader you also need to keep growing yourself because you cannot give that which you do not have.

Discover Each Team Member’s Dreams and Desires

Equipping is based on what the team needs, while developing is based on what the team member needs individually in order to become a better person. To develop your team members you need to know their dreams and desires. Also keep in mind that team leaders are learning, growing and pursuing their own dreams, they are more likely to help others pursue their own dreams.

Lead Each Member of Your Team Differently

Do not attempt to lead everyone in your team the same way, everyone does not respond to the same kind of leadership. Be consistent in treating everyone with kindness and respect, but do not use the same strategy and methods for everyone. Take responsibility for conforming your leadership style to what the individual members of your team need, not expecting them to adapt to you.

Help Your Team Members to Know Them Selves

You cannot be realistic about your potential until you are realistic about your position. You need to know where you are before you can figure out how to get to someplace else. One of the first steps of developing your team members is to help them define the reality of who they are currently. You need to help them to recognize their strengths and weaknesses so you can develop them in those areas.

Do Not Shy Away From Conflict

Development usually involves hard lessons. True growth comes when we have positive responses to negative experiences. As a team leader you need to get passed the discomfort of having difficult conversations for the sake of your team. People will work through difficulties if they believe you are willing to work with them.

Celebrate the Right Wins

Leaders that develop their team members help them get wins under their belt. Strategic wins are always of the greatest value to the individual. Target wins based on where you want the team member to grow and how you want them to grow. It is always an extra incentive for a person to go after things that will help them improve as an individual. Celebrating a wrong activity that somehow got the right result is setting up the team member for failure. Evaluate what looks like a win to make sure it is actually teaching the team member what they need to learn in order to grow.

Prepare Your Team Members for Leadership

No development process is complete without the inclusion of leadership development. The better your team members are at leading, the greater impact they will have on the organization. Take your team members through processes that gets them ready to step in and lead.

Challenging the Process as a Team Leader

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“The manager accepts the status quo; the leader challenges it.” – Warren Bennis

Far too often, we cling to what is familiar, even if what we cling to is known to be inadequate. Most large groups are governed by the law of inertia: if it takes effort to change something, nothing will change. As a team leader, you must search out opportunities to change, grow, innovate, and improve.

There is no reward without risk however, so you must be willing to experiment, take risks, and learn from any mistakes. Ask questions, even if you fear the answers. Start with the question, “Why?” Why are things the way they are? Why do we do things the way we do?

Think Outside the Box

A paradigm is an established model or structure. Sometimes they work quite well, but often they are inadequate or even counterproductive. Sometimes it is necessary to “think outside the box” and break the paradigm. Don’t be afraid to ask the question “Why?” Ask questions of your team members, employees, customers, former leaders. Ideas and answers can be found in the least likely places. Often the lowest ranking persons in an organization can tell you exactly what is wrong because they see it daily from their vantage points.

Developing Your Inner Innovator

Innovation is more than just an improvement on a process or procedure; it is a total redirection or restructuring based upon stated goals and research. While it can be helpful to adapt an outdated procedure or task to today’s standards, often the procedure itself is the problem, not the manner in which it is implemented. Innovators reverse engineer policies and procedures based on the new vision and team goals, working from the target backwards, rather than from the status quo looking forward.

Related: Leadership Outcome Based Team Building Activities

To be sure, not all innovative strategies will be feasible or cost effective. Requiring an entirely new computerized network and infrastructure, for example, may cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and produce little improved efficiency over the old one. However, if you don’t start thinking “outside the box,” you will miss many valuable solutions that can and will work.

Note that changes should never be made simply for the sake of change. Change can be exciting, but it can also be unnerving and difficult for the team members. Constant change causes frustration. Moreover, if you seem to change too many things too often, you will lose respect, as your team members may feel you don’t really know what you are doing, so be sure to plan your innovations carefully. There should be solid evidence that a new way of doing things is likely to work before you invest money and everyone’s time.

Keep focused on the team  goals and be willing to break the rules if they need to be broken. Just make sure they really need to be broken and you don’t break something that needs to keep working! With proper research and planning, you can dare to be bold!

Seeing Room for Improvement

A strong team vision does not lend itself to mediocrity. A drive to excellence always seeks improvement. If you accept 95% efficiency as a goal, the efficiency will inevitably slip to 90%. If that’s considered “good enough,” it will become hard to keep it above 85% and so on.

Team goals must not be unrealistic or unattainable, or the followers will simply give up trying altogether, becoming dispirited and demoralized in the process. If 95% of people fail to meet a standard, then that standard is likely too high and must be changed. On the other hand, the bar must not be set so low that little or no effort is required to meet it.

Based on your team’s  vision, set high goals that are attainable but with some degree of difficulty, and reward those team members who meet the goals. If a large number of the team  is meeting the goal, raise the target. If only a very few are meeting it, lower it somewhat.

Investigate any potential bottlenecks that might be stifling progress and resolve them. Talk to your team members about possible solutions. The people who actually do the work are far more likely to be able to tell you why they are having difficulty accomplishing a task than their supervisors.

Lobbying for Change

To lobby for change, you need to influence people and excite them to your vision. You may need to persuade a reluctant boss or fight a corporate culture that doesn’t understand what you are trying to do. In that case, you need to demonstrate why your requested change needs to occur.

Do your research, and always enter a meeting by being prepared. Study the situation and present all of your findings in a short report, preferably with simple charts or graphs. Give them something they can easily understand. Have the details ready in case you are asked a question, but don’t overload people with facts. Show as clearly as possible how your plan will effect positive change.

If you are lobbying your own team members, the same is true. You may want to revolutionize a cultural change. Perhaps you are a shop manager and people are unmotivated. You may need to bring about change slowly, rather than with one big dramatic gesture. On the other hand, you may need to shake things up in a big way. Whatever the situation, you can successfully lobby for change if you attack the problem with a plan, sound reasoning, and infectious enthusiasm!

 

The Importance of Vision for Team Leaders

The Importance of Vision for Team Leaders

Vision is essential to the success of all team leaders. The vision paints the target for the team and leads the leader. It fuels the fire of the leader’s passion and draws the leader forward. Leaders without vision cannot go anywhere.

Related: Leadership Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Vision Starts Within The Leader

Vision is not something you can buy or borrow. Vision has to come from within. If you lack vision in your leadership, look within and draw on you natural gifts and desires. If you still do not sense a vision of your own, look to partner with a leader whose vision resonates with you.

Vision Draws On Your Past

Vision is not something that just magically appears out of nothing. Vision grows from the past of the leader and the history of those people that surround them. You are likely to find that all successful leaders have key events in their past that were instrumental in the creation of their vision.

Vision Meets The Needs Of Others

True vision will go beyond what one individual can accomplish. A big vision does more than just include others, it adds value to them. A vision that does not serve others is likely too small.

Vision Helps You Gather Resources

Vision acts like a magnet to attract resources. Your vision will attract, challenge and unite people. It will also rally finances and other resources that the vision requires. The greater the vision, the more winners it has the potential of attracting. The more challenging the vision, the harder the team will fight to achieve this.

The Voices of Vision

The Inner Voice. Vision should always start from within. What stirs your heart, what do you dream about? You will not be able to accomplish a vision that does not come from a deep desire within yourself. It needs to be based on who you are and what you believe.

The Unhappy Voice. Experiencing or noticing what does not work, is often the inspiration for great ideas. A discontentment with how things are currently can be excellent breeding ground for birthing a vision.

The Successful Voice. Great things are never accomplished alone. A big vision needs a big team to accomplish it. To grow as a leader, you need advice from someone ahead of you in the leadership journey. You need a mentor if you intend to lead others to greatness.

How Team Leaders Can Improve Their Vision

Measure Yourself. If you have previously written down a vision for yourself, measure how well you are carrying it out. Speak to key people close to you and ask them what they think is your vision. If they can articulate it, then it is likely that you are living out your vision.

Write Down Your Vision. If you have only previously thought about your vision but never wrote it down, take the time to write it down today. Writing helps to clarify your thinking. After writing it down, evaluate your vision and decide if it is worthy of your life’s best, and then pursue it with all you got.

 

Resource: The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader

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The Importance of Being Teachable for Team Leaders

 The Importance of Being Teachable for Team Leaders

Team leaders that have had some achievements face the danger of contentment. If you already possess influence and have achieved a level of respect, why should you keep growing? The truth is that your growth determines who you are, who you are determines who you attract and who you attract determines your success.

Related: Leadership Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Guidelines to Help You Develop and Maintain a Teachable Attitude

Beware of Destination Disease.
Lack of being teachable is often rooted in achievement. Team leaders often make the error of thinking that if they accomplish a particular goal they no longer have to grow. If you want to be an effective leader that makes an impact on people, you cannot afford to think that way. If you stop growing you are not only forfeiting your own potential but also the potential of your team.

Overcome Your Success.
Success is often the cause of a lack of being teachable. What gets you to the top will not necessary keep you there. If you still think that what you did in the past is big, it simply means you have not done much today.

Avoid Taking Shortcuts.
Shortcuts often end up being the longest distance between two points. Anything worthwhile doing has a price attached to it. If you want to grow in a certain area, figure out the price to pay and be determined to pay it.

Let Go of Your Pride.
Team leaders that are teachable are people who are willing to admit they do not know everything. If you are to keep growing, you have to be prepared to make mistakes. You cannot be prideful and teachable at the same time. To grow, you need to give up your pride.

Never Pay Twice for The Same Mistake.
You cannot progress without making mistakes along the way. But the team leader that keeps making the same mistakes is not making any progress. While you should forget your mistakes and move on, never forget what those mistakes taught you.

How Team Leaders Can Become More Teachable

Observe Your Reaction to Your Mistakes.
Observe how you react when you make a mistake. Do you admit your mistakes, apologize when appropriate or are you defensive. Get an honest opinion from a trusted friend. If you react badly to your mistake or do not react at all, you will have to work on being more teachable.

Try Something New.
Stretch yourself mentally, emotionally or physically by trying something new. Challenges change people for the better. If you are serious about growing as a leader, you will have to make new challenges part of your daily activities.

Learn in Your Area of Strength.
Read books on leadership and your field of specialization. Continuing to learn in the area where you are already an expert, prevents you from becoming jaded.

Resource: The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader

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The Importance of Responsibility for Team Leaders

The Importance of Responsibility for Team Leaders

These days it seems people focus more on their rights than their responsibilities. Effective team leaders never embrace a victim mentality. They recognize that who and where they are in life remain their responsibility. They face whatever life throws at them, and they give it their best. Remember that failure to hit the bull’s eye is never the fault of the target. To hit the target you need to improve your aim, and you can only improve your aim by improving yourself.

Related: Leadership Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Characteristics of Team Leaders Who Embrace Responsibility

They get the Job done. As a team leader, you cannot do the minimum but yet expect to reach your maximum potential. If you are an employee, one way you can maintain a get-it-done attitude is by thinking of yourself as self-employed. This approach will help you achieve more and build credibility with your team.

They are willing to go the extra mile. Responsible team leaders never protest that something is not their job. They are ready to do whatever it takes to complete the work needed by their organization. If you want to succeed as a leader, you have to be willing to put the needs of the organization above your agenda.

They are driven by excellence. Excellence is always a great motivator. Responsible leaders desire excellence and work hard to achieve it. Make high quality your goal and responsibility will follow naturally.

They produce regardless of the situation. The ultimate quality of a responsible team leader is the ability to finish. A leader who takes responsibility, finish and follows through to the final details is a leader that will be a success more often than not. They are leaders to whom you can entrust an assignment knowing it will be efficiently and conscientiously completed.

How Team Leaders Can Improve Their Responsibility

Keep hanging in there. An inability to deliver in difficult circumstances could be due to a persistence problem. Next time when you find yourself in a situation where it looks like you are going to fail, stop and figure out a way to succeed. Think outside the lines. Creativity can often help to bring responsibility to life.

Set higher standards. You may have difficulty achieving merely because you have lowered your standards. Make changes to set higher standards. Reset the bar of excellence for yourself.

Find better tools. If you are still not achieving the success the way you want to, you may need to better equip yourself. Improve your skills by taking classes, reading books and listening to DVD’s. Find a mentor, do whatever it takes to become better at what you do.

Resource: The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader

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The Importance of Relationships for Team Leaders

The Importance of Relationships for Team Leaders

How are your people skills? If your relational skills are weak, your leadership will suffer. To be an effective team leader, the ability to work with people is essential. You may have people skills and not be a good leader, but you cannot be a good leader without people skills.

Related: Leadership Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Cultivate and Manage Solid Relationships as a Team Leader

Understand Your Team Members To be an effective relational leader you need to develop the ability to understand how people feel and think. It is important to understand that most people have the following things in common:

  • People like to feel special, look for opportunities to sincerely compliment them.
  • People want a brighter future, give them hope.
  • People desire direction, navigate for them.
  • People are inherently selfish, speak to their needs first.
  • People experience emotional lows, encourage them.
  • People want to succeed, help them win.

Treat each team member as an individual; understand them and connect with them. Be wary not to treat all your team members the same. Adapt your leadership style to the person you are leading.

Love People Leadership is about more than just wanting to lead. To be an effective team leader you have to have empathy for others and find the best in people. You will not be the type of leader that your team wants to follow unless you love people.

Help People Your team will respect you as their leader if you keep their interests in mind. Focus on what you can put into your team and not what you can get out of your team. Love and respect are the foundation for building solid relationships.

How Team Leaders Can Improve Their Relationships

Improve Your Mind
If you need to improve your ability to understand people you can start by reading several books on the subject. Then spend more time observing people and applying what you have learnt.

Strengthen Your Heart
If you find that you are not as caring towards others as you should, you need to take the focus of yourself. Find things you can do for others that will add value to their life. Do not wait until you feel like helping others, act your way into feeling.

Repair a Hurting Relationship
Do want you can to restore a long term relationship that has faded. Get in touch with the person and try to reconnect. If there was a falling out, take responsibility for your part and apologize. Try to better understand, love and serve that person.

Resource: The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader

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The Importance of Problem Solving for Team Leaders

The Importance of Problem Solving for Team Leaders

Every problem you encounter as a team leader will show you how you think and what you are made of. Your ability to solve problems effectively comes from experience facing and overcoming obstacles. Each time you solve a problem you get a little better at the process. A team leader will never get good at problem-solving unless they keep on trying even when they fail. Team leaders will always face problems no matter in which field they are. The effective team leader is the leader that rises to the occasion to solve the problem.

Related: Problem Solving Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Qualities of Team Leaders with Problem Solving Abilities

They Anticipate Problems
Effective team leaders anticipate problems, knowing that problems are inevitable. If you expect the road ahead to always be smooth, you will not be able to solve the problems that come your way. Although it is important always to keep a positive attitude, planning for the worst will place you in a position to solve the problems that you encounter.

They Accept the Truth
There are different ways that people respond to problems. Some refuse to accept the problem, others accept the problem and just put up with it. Effective leaders are those that accept the problem and try to make things better. Team leaders cannot lead their team through troubled waters if they have their heads in the sand. To be an effective leader you have to face up to the reality of a situation.

They See the Big Picture
It is essential that team leaders must always keep the big picture in mind. As a team leader, you cannot afford to be overwhelmed by emotion nor get so bogged down by details that you lose sight of what is important.

They Handle One Thing at a Time
Tackle your problems, one problem at a time. Do not get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of your problems and then try and dabble at problem-solving. If you are facing a lot of problems, fully solve the one you are working on before moving to the next.

They Do Not Give Up a Major Goal When They are Down
Effective leaders make major decisions during a positive swing in their leadership and not during dark times. Never give up while you are going through the valley.

How Team Leaders Can Improve Their Problem-Solving Skills

Look for Problems to Solve
If you are someone that usually avoids problems, start looking for problems to solve. You can only get better at problem-solving when you gain experiencing at dealing with problems. Find situations that need fixing and come up with several viable solutions. Take your problem to more experienced problem solvers. Learn from their decisions how they think when handling difficult situations.

Develop a Problem Solving Method
Some team leaders may struggle with solving problems only because they do not know how to tackle them. The following is a problem-solving process you can follow:

  • Establish the real problem
  • Find out what others have done
  • Have your team study all the angles
  • Brainstorm multiple possible solutions
  • Implement the best solution

Surround Yourself with Problem Solvers
If you are not a good problem solver, bring others who are into your team. They will immediately compliment your weakness, and you will learn from them.

Resource: The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader

 

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