Becoming a team leader is often people’s first experience of management responsibility. With many team leaders being promoted from within the team because they were good team members they face a challenging time.
In this article we look at five qualities any team leader should aspire to.
1. Recognising The Value Of Your Team Members
A common mistake amongst newly promoted team leaders is to throw their weight around as if they know it all. The usual result is that they rub their team up the wrong way before realising they need their cooperation to achieve the objectives.
Showing that you respect the skills, knowledge and contribution your team members make is a sure way to earn their respect.
2. Involving The Team In Decisions That Affect Them
Making all decisions unilaterally rather than consulting your staff will often be unpopular especially when it involves major changes to the way they work.
Each team leader or manager will have a way they prefer to work. Before making any changes consider how these changes may affect people.
3. Being Prepared To Listen
When individuals in the team are not happy they can sometimes be vocal in expressing their dissatisfaction. Rather than view this as a direct challenge to your authority, take the time to listen rather than become defensive.
Learning to listen will help you to diffuse potentially explosive situations. It enables people to express their frustration and then calm down and speak more reasonably. This doesn’t mean that you have to agree with everything they say but it does mean that you make the effort to understand.
4. Leading By Example
One sure way to demonstrate your commitment to the role is to show what you can do. This means being a good role model for your team in terms of what you expect yourself in terms of behaviour.
Having being recognised as a strong team member it is worth remembering to show your skills to your colleagues without being arrogant. This will help to reinforce your authority as well as having the title.
5. Being Prepared To Admit Mistakes
One thing that unites us all as human beings is our capacity to make mistakes. Just because you are now the team leader it doesn’t mean this will stop. Of course you will try harder not to make them, when it does happen be ready to admit them. This will enable your team to retain their own self-esteem when it happens to them knowing that it is okay to be open with these things.
Playing the ‘blame game’ will only mean that any future mistakes are hidden away possibly leading to far greater problems in the future.
Becoming a team leader can be quite daunting and it could turn you into a bossy annoying tyrant. Bear these qualities in mind and you will develop useful management competencies for your future career.
Head of Training
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Mark Williams is a learning and development professional, using business psychology and multiple intelligences to create fascinating and quickly-identifiable learning initiatives in the real-world business setting. Mark’s role at MTD is to ensure that our training is leading edge, and works closely with our trainers to develop the best learning experiences for all people on learning programmes. Mark designs and delivers training programmes for businesses both small and large and strives to ensure that MTD’s clients are receiving the very best training, support and services that will really make a difference to their business.