Effective teamwork is one of the most important aspects in the corporate world today.
Today, team members should be completely comfortable while working with each others in order to give their best professional touch to whatever they do.
A team is normally comprised of a number of team members and a team leader. Needless to say, the onus of success lies on the shoulders of the entire team, but the team leader bears most of the burden.
Almost everyone on the team would like to become a leader, but there are very few who would actually possess the characteristics to be a team leader.
This article is the 3rd article of the series – management vs. leadership.
Refer to the 1st article – the difference between management & leadership.
How to Be a Good Team Leader:
The findings of extensive research on what makes a team effective point to the fact that: teams that have the talent and skills to manage themselves do better.
This means a dominate team leader doesn’t seem to lead to consistent and better performance – it’s the organizational support makes a difference.
Therefore, a good team leader should design and support/balance the talent of the individuals to work together in harmony so that the team ends up managing itself…
Being an effective team leader requires basic leadership skills. Here are some of the actions that the team leader should consistently carry out:
• Build trust between team members.
• Inspire and motivate teamwork for achieving goals.
• Influence valuable changes.
• Be open to new ideas coming from team members.
• Consult frequently with key team members.
• Establish an open discussion for decision-making.
• Distinguish the team from others – create an identity for the team.
• Encourage and support independent thinking.
• Recognize the skills of key team members and utilize their strengths to the benefit of the team.
• Define and state expectations and objectives with the team members. Ensure that all members understand the missions ahead.
• Eliminate disagreements between members – be the mediator. Set a behavioral code if necessary.
• Consider giving incentives to boost results.
• Evaluate results in a timely fashion.
You may also be interested in reading the article – leadership interview questions and answers.
Being an effective team leader: the Qualities of a Good Team Leader
What makes an effective/good team leader?
When it comes to defining team leadership, there are several characteristics that could make a positive impact. In addition to the above points, the following are some of the characteristics of a good team leader:
1. Decision Making Abilities: This might be by far the most important characteristic that a team might want in a person who would lead them. There are several scenarios in the professional world which require a level-headed person to make various decisions. These decisions basically make or break the team’s work as well as the person’s career. Therefore, these decisions have to be made with extreme care and caution. Only an experienced individual would be capable of making such decisions.
2. Lead from the Front: Gone are the days when the leaders would be cooped up in administrative rooms while the real action would take place at the battle front. In the corporate world, unless the leader gets down to the brass tacks with the team members, the leader would not be respected.
3. Balance between personal life and professional life: With the fast paced times, professional and personal lives are quickly overlapping each other. Therefore, it is necessary for a leader to understand the difference between the two and pay respect to the team member’s personal life as well as professional growth.
4. Serve as an Example: This is also quite am important aspect of being a leader of a team. Only if a leader acts as an example, would the leader be respected enough to be given the proper respect as a leader. Being an example can be anything, right from the way they work, to the way they make professional decisions. Serving as an example is not easy in this fast paced world, but one can always try.
5. Forgive, but do not forget: No employee can ever say that they have not made mistakes in their professional life. A good leader would remember these mistakes and try to make sure that the said individual does not make the same mistake again. However, the leader should also keep in mind that this employee should not be unnecessarily persecuted for the mistake.
6. Cohesive force: Finally, the leader should be a cohesive force between all the team members. In a professional atmosphere, it is a miracle that all the people in a team are on good terms with each other. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the leader to make sure that all of them are comfortable with each other and have a working relationship that makes the team a productive one instead of a team that is wracked by problems.