Building Your Skills as a Great Team Leader
Team leadership development is situational. In other words, there is no set pathway to becoming a great leader of teams. However, your strategic approach to team leadership development should change based on your situation.
Team leaders fall in one of two categories based upon his or her situation:
Situation A: Someone who has direct-reports that he calls his “team”
Situation B: Someone designated as a team leader but not necessarily in a supervisory position.
Developing team leadership is approached differently depending on your situation.
I write their performance reviews.”
So there you are. A leader in your own right, but truly seeing the value of developing your staff (or department or whatever you would otherwise label them) into something you call a team. Should you even call them a team?
Your leadership skill as the boss will definitely help you in the position of team leader. Most of what you now know as a leader will translate into team building skills. For example, feedback is just as applicable to deliver to a subordinate as it is to deliver to a team. Only a few adjustments needed.
You have what is called “position power.” You will naturally earn at least a certain amount of respect from your team because they work for you. Bueno. (that’s good ..)
But teamwork is a process, and your goal should always be to get to the next level of team performance. How much do you need to know about the ins and outs of teamwork in order to be a successful team leader manager?
The major team factors that need consideration is a nice reference point for starting.
Here is my little key to success:
You do not have to have all the answers.
Look to the team for the answer.
Simple. When asked properly, the team will identify for you what to do next. And, if you are ready to listen, you can even make it look like you are in control and have had all the team leadership training in the world.
Simple team development meetings can and will you forward immediately. Get GOOD, really good, at knowing how to draw out their participation and use it for drawing roadmaps.
They do not report to me as their boss.”
Not the boss, but designated to lead a team.
In some cases, I would call this unfair. After all, what is the leverage you have over the team?
Still, some would say that is an enviable position. I would, because I know the value a team can add to the workplace. It can turn a so-so job into an exhilarating one, albeit occasionally challenging.
Begin here with the team factors for which you will want to start increasing your awareness. With these factors in mind, you will become familiar with the process of team development. Every team has a cycle of growth. You want to start looking for it.
Your assignment as the team leader means you must be looking at the team from a different perspective. What to do when the progress stalls? How to incorporate an effective leadership style in the team meetings? Analyzing leadership styles of the various team players. Trust in the team building environment? How to turn them into a great team?
Lots to know.
Leadership skill training could be helpful for you if the company is willing to pay for it.
In the least, become familiar with effective team meetings to map out your objectives and plan for strong outcomes.
If you can find a team building seminar, you may opt for that. OBTW – if it is called a “seminar” that could be a bad sign. You really want a team “workshop”. If you are a part of a larger organization, chances are there are corporate team building activities available, either through the training department or the HR department.
Some great team training is out there. A little scouting around will get you far.
For any new leader, I am a big advocate of coaching, so that you have an outlet for building your skills. Ideally, the coach is also experienced in leading teams, so you may be able to pry a few golden ideas out of her. Wink Wink.