There are some people who are born leaders. If you observe them, you will find that they have a knack for winning the trust of others. There is something about them that makes people respect them and follow their orders. However, there are other people who want to become good leaders and effectively lead teams. They may or may not have the qualities of a leader innate in them. In either case, with proper efforts on their part, it is possible to become a good leader.
In any office environment, the primary role of a leader is to be able to effectively manage their team. The success of any team depends greatly on the efficiency with which it is handled by the manager or team leader. It is a well-accepted fact that in order to manage any team effectively, experience will be your best teacher.
However, there are some management skills that you can take up from the experience of others. This article talks about 5 such skills that will help you drive your team to newer heights of glory and accomplishment.
1. Lead By Example
This is one of the most important aspects of resource management. Be it professional behaviour or technical approaches, make sure that you do not do anything that you would not want your team members to follow. Understand the huge responsibility that comes along with being a manager or team leader.
You are someone who should lead by example. In such a situation, if you project an image of yourself that is not the same as your true self, what will happen is that you and your actions will lose credibility. Hence, the first tip to managing a team effectively is to be honest with yourself.
Do not go for any form of partiality or favouritism. If you do commit some mistakes, have the gall to admit the same in front of your team. That way, you will be able to effectively lead your team.
If you want to manage a team effectively, one of the first things that you must understand is when is it okay for you to do things yourself and when must you rely on your team to get work done. If you try to do everything on your own, you will end up with too many things on your plate and will not be able to do justice to absolutely anything.
Understand that, as a leader, your job is to optimise the team's productivity and for that you need to sit and chalk out who needs to get what done. Once that is sorted, have faith in your team's ability to get things done. Constant interference from you will not do anyone any good.
If you really want the best for your team, you should know when to take up the mantle and when to give up the same.
3. Effective Time Management
It is understood that very often managers and team leaders have a lot of other tasks in hand that they need to cater to in addition to providing guidance to their team. However, as a manager, it is important for you to understand that your team will function well if and only if you are able to devote sufficient time to the same.
For the team to have faith in each other and in your leadership, it is necessary for you to be visible to them. Thus, it is important for you to manage your busy schedule effectively. Try to avoid working from home as much as possible.
Make sure that you are approachable and when members of your team actually approach you, make sure that you help them to the best of your abilities. This will ensure that they coordinate and collaborate with each other and in turn, the team is able to work much more efficiently.
As a manager leading a team, you may often find yourself in situations wherein you are at crossroads over what the higher management expects of you and the expectations from your team. At such moments, there are only two things that will help you out. The first thing is your instinct.
Follow what you think is right. Remember that you owe no explanation to anybody but yourself. If you feel that acting a particular way is against your morals or your instinct is discouraging you from it, make sure that you do not do it. The other thing that will help you here is your communication.
You cannot expect people to understand what is going on in your head unless and until you bring the same to their notice. Hence, if you want to manage your team well, make sure that you convey the appropriate content from the higher management to them in an efficient manner. The same holds good when you're conveying the words of your team to the higher authorities.
As a manager of a team, you will be required to do some uncomfortable tasks once in a while. This may include things like pointing out faults in others. Understand that this is your job requirement and there is nothing much you can do about it. Hence, there is no point in delaying the same.
Whenever possible, try to evaluate all the possible options and arrive at the best possible solutions. There may be times when, in spite of your best efforts, when you may have made some mistake. In such a case, do not break down under pressure. It is important that you sit down and analyse where you went wrong and why.
Once you are clear about that, take the failure in your stride and move on. As a manager, it is important for you to realise that team management is an ongoing process and you will be a better manager in due time.