For most professionals in the corporate world, leading a team is their first brush with leadership. But the excitement of promotion usually comes tinged with caution – after all, managing a bunch of people is a daunting task.
Suddenly one remembers the things they disliked most about their various seniors or bosses and mentally vowed not to do the same. However, being nice while getting work out of your juniors requires a delicate balance and some specific skills. So, if you are wondering what you need to do to become an effective team leader, then we have some foundational qualities that can make your leadership stint smoother and more successful –
1. Communication is key
You need to seriously up your communication abilities. This involves not just basics like explaining yourself clearly and being respectful, but also listening actively to your team members and treating them with empathy.
Effective communication allows you to set clear expectations, delegate work without confusion, and also process feedback from your team members. The main job of a leader is to make sure everyone in the team works together to achieve the goal of the team. Making sure you are perceived as being approachable will ensure your team members come to you when they are unhappy, this will help you diffuse potentially explosive situations on time.
2. Being fair and benevolent
You need to be consistent in how you deal with the team. There can be no hint of favouritism or changing values. instead of leaving details vague, it’s important to set expectations and limits right in the beginning. This could be something as small as the timings of the work, expectations with leaves and overtime or even email etiquette, but ensuring everyone’s on the same page keeps things ticking along smoothly.
3. Leading by example
Inculcating a sense of respect in your team members is critical to succeeding as a leader, and one way to do this is to lead by example. Get your hands dirty, show your commitment, become a role model – this is a foolproof way to make sure you are considered an active and strong leader.
4. Project confidence
People need direction, and the main task of a team leader is to provide it. As a leader, you should know the larger organisational goals as well as your team goals, and you should be able to confidently convey a roadmap for achieving these. You should project self-assurance and also be confident of your team’s abilities.
5. Learn to delegate
One of the most difficult things for most new leaders is to delegate. It often takes time and several tough situations for first-time leaders to start delegating responsibilities properly. It is not possible for one person to do a team’s job, hence work must be divided effectively; fair and logical delegation also makes the team members feel more involved in their team’s success.
6. Evolved administrative skills
When things become complex, and you have to manage not just your own time and workload but also keep track of what others in your team doing, you can’t afford to be disorganised. With so many balls in the air, strong organisational skills are something definitely worth learning.
Leadership is not rocket science, but it does need a combination of several skills and qualities that must be learnt and polished. Experience is, naturally, a great teacher. However, these days, it is not necessary to learn on the job by making costly mistakes. With a structured course, a young leader can get a deeper understanding of how to meet his new challenges and enter the job fully prepared.
We help leaders become more effective and influential. With enhanced abilities, you can approach new challenges and work environments fitted with the right knowledge. For more details, click on the Request Consultation button above.