Creating a great team is one part, the most important thing is knowing how to lead them and harnessing their potential. This isn’t an easy job but with this guide, you will be able to create a productive team and lead them to greatness.
There are 8 steps to take to help us build a productive team and lead them in to the future, including:
- How to engage our teams by: ‘creating a shared purpose’,
- Practising open communication, building trust and mutual respect, and co-creating , shared values.
- How to build effective working procedures,
- ensure that we are building on differences to create the strongest possible team, being adaptable and flexible and,
- Encouraging continuous learning in ourselves and our teams.
Advantages of building a productive team
- Various complex issues can be tackled by pooling expertise and resources.
- Challenges are exposed to a wider audience of skill, knowledge and expertise.
- A positive team culture encourages ownership and increases engagement.
- Innovation and improvement opportunities are more likely to arise.
- Recommendations from a team are more likely to be implemented than if they come from an individual.
How To Be a Succesful Team Leader
- Agree with team members’ resource requirements which ensure targets and timely project completion are achieved.
- Create a vision and align your team around it.
- Define roles within a team: the potential of each member is unlocked when you allow individuals to exercise creativity in support of the goal.
- Let the team solve any difficulties, the team will feel more ownership for the solution if you let them solve the problem.
- Coordinate and monitor the performance of the team and individuals to ensure that goals and objectives are achieved.
- Provide feedback to teams and individuals on their performance.
- Assemble the right team so that every member has an important part of the answer.
- Prepare meetings so that they are a constructive use of team time.
- Utilise the team; allocate responsibilities to get the work done: fostering innovation, generating \
- ideas and elaborating on them; encouraging autonomy to breed further creativity.
- Maintain the group as a whole: preserving your team’s identity, motivating them, nurturing your team and providing the necessary support.
These steps will help us maintain and grow a great team in the future.
Step 1: Create shared purpose
- Start by making sure that everyone knows what objectives and targets the team must achieve.
- Share your vision for the team and invite team members to do the same
- By doing all of this, you create a strong, shared and common purpose for your team
Step 2: Practice open communication.
- Start by creating transparency
- Be transparent about what you share and honest about privileged information you are not able or allowed to share.
- This will allow team members to feel part of the vision and engaged in the result
Step 3: Build Trust and Mutual Respect
This means that you need to be consistent, reliable and fair when dealing with your team members.
Over time your team members will mirror your practice – then trust and mutual respect will prevail
So practice what you preach and get feedback about how they experience you as a team leader
Step 4: Co-create shared values
Values are what we hold as important. Each team member may have different values
- Run a 1-hour team values setting workshop in which you ask each person to write
- the 3 most important things they want from and will give each other
- Talk about and agree on the 3 values the team will live by and hold each other accountable for.
This will help your team to be and stay inspired!
Step 5: Build Effective Working Procedures
This requires your team to agree on division of labour and its decision making process.
- When agreeing on division of labour, don’t focus on formal roles – Instead focus on sharing work
- Then agree what’s the best way to make decisions
- Will you make some or all decisions?
- Will you consult and make decisions?
- Will you delegate decisions to experts on the team?
- Will you bring in outside experts?
- Agree on and use a process everyone can understand
Step 6: Build on Differences
You need to ensure that you observe the team and use a strengths-based assessment tool for each member to have an evidence-based view of members and overall strengths, weaknesses and interests.
With this understanding, you will be better able to give tasks and responsibilities that suit individual strengths and interests and serve the team’s needs.
Step 7: Adaptability and Flexibility
The dynamic nature of business means that you need to build adaptability and flexibility into how your team works to deliver results.
Being adaptable and flexible requires a change of approach or plan when it’s not working but it does not require a change of objectives and targets!
Step 8: Continuous Learning
Continuous learning is the crowning characteristic of a great team so how do you create a culture of continuous learning?
- Borrow from the military.
- After completing a project or reaching a key milestone, spend an hour doing an after action review focusing on;
- Did we achieve our desired goal?
- Why or why not?
- How do we learn from this and incorporate our learning for the future?
- Following these steps will help you to ensure a well-functioning team that is motivated to produce results!