The ability to manage and lead a team is crucial for most professions in order to progress in your career. Management is a skill and one that requires training and development.
Get it right and you can build a high functioning team that you can trust, rely on and grow. Get it wrong and you can spend your time dealing with low morale and engagement, a lack of quality and productivity and high turnover. As the saying goes, people leave managers not businesses.
In this article we wanted to share some of the key areas that have the biggest impact when it comes to managing people and teams. These are the areas that if you get right can help towards developing a reputation as a great leader, as well as people manager.
The ability to actively listen is important. By this we mean actually hearing what your team are saying, which shows you value their input and opinion. It’s also important to be clear and concise when you are communicating your expectations, goals and instructions clearly to avoid misunderstandings.
If you can communicate both ways effectively, you are going to be able to build a team that know what they are doing, when they need to do it by and how they need to do it. You will also be able to deal with potential issues, develop new ideas and ways of working and make your team feel valued.
Get to know the people you're managing on a personal level. Understanding their motivations, strengths and weaknesses can help you manage them better. Showing empathy can also help to building trustful relationships, treat everyone with dignity and respect their perspectives and feelings.
Set Clear Expectations
One of the most impotent things you can do as a manager and leader is setting clear expectations. By doing this, you are helping to ensure that everyone understands their roles, what is expected of them and the behaviours you would expect to see to help drive a positive team and workplace. A good way to set expectations is setting goals and objectives. Establish clear, measurable goals and provide regular feedback on progress.
Delegate Wisely and responsibly
Delegate tasks based on individual strengths and skills and encourage leadership within the team by allowing individuals to take charge of projects, parts of projects, initiatives or processes. Good leaders also say delegate work that you would enjoy doing… however, sometimes this isn’t always possible due to the nature of projects and skillsets, knowledge and experience required for different parts of the project.
Offering constructive feedback is also a great way to help encourage development, trust and honest relationships. On top of this, it’s also a great idea to try and encourage open feedback. This can help create a culture where team members feel comfortable giving feedback to you. This doesn’t just mean feedback on how they think you are managing them, it could be as simple as giving feedback or ideas to help improve a process to project outcome.
Lead by Example
Simple… Demonstrate the behaviour and work ethic you expect from your team. Don’t make it one rule for you and another rule for your team.
Recognition and Reward
Acknowledge and appreciate good work and recognise and reward achievements and efforts. It’s so easy to miss these great opportunities to make your team feel proud or appreciated. It could be as simple as telling them what a great job they are doing or have done. But it’s important to acknowledge success.
Empower Your Team
Encourage autonomy and allow team members to make decisions and take ownership of their work. This can look very different depending on level of seniority and experience, but by giving your team the freedom to make decisions can really benefit you and them.
Remember that effective management is an ongoing process and it's essential to adapt your approach to the specific needs and dynamics of your team. Building strong relationships, fostering open communication and leading by example are key foundations for successful people management.
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