You might be managing a team of remote writers or be responsible for a team in your office – in the end, the weight of responsibility upon your shoulders probably is the same. In any case, team management is a challenging and difficult task that requires a lot of courage, confidence, and so on.
But this doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to ace that task if you learn how to do so. Here are 12 amazing tips that could help you become an effective team leader and manager.
- Always share your vision.
If you’re the one responsible for building the team, share your vision with the potential workers. If you aren’t responsible, you should still do so after a team is assembled.
Why is it important? Because it makes your relationships with the team more personal, also helping them understand what to expect from you and what you expect of them. You can encourage them to reply to that, sharing their vision in return or reacting to your own.
- Ensure effective communication.
Always make sure that the team knows about yours (and their) priorities, long-term goals, and strategies that could and should be used in the process. Of course, it isn’t always easy for the managers: not all of them are effective communicators.
If that’s your case, try writing. Write down everything that you need to say before the meeting – and then deliver it during the meeting.
- Set clear rules.
The team cannot follow the rules if they don’t know about them. Therefore, it’s important to lay down everything that matters, even the things you consider obvious. It’s also important to ensure that everyone knows the rules and could re-read them anytime they want. In order to achieve that, you can create a document to share with everyone from your team.
What should you cover in the basic rules?
- deadlines, both intermediate and main ones;
- working hours (this is especially important if you’re managing a team of remote workers);
- strategies for managing specific problems (if a worker fails to meet the deadline, they need to report about that during a certain period of time, etc.);
- working guidelines;
- anything else you consider important.
- Build positive relationships.
You don’t need to know everything about your team but you should strive to know a bit more than what’s written on their resumes. There’s a thin line between being personally interested in your team and being intrusive and you definitely should be careful here. Still, asking your team about their day and sharing something useful and important with them just because you feel like doing so definitely won’t hurt your relationships.
- Know the skills of your team.
How can you make the teamwork more effective? By assigning specific tasks to people who are the most capable of handling them. In order to do that, you need to know what your workers are really skilled in.
Sure, it might seem that reading their resumes could help you understand that but that’s not always the case. You need to spend some time with your workers, learn about their strong and weak sides, about things they like or dislike doing. Only then you’ll be able to understand which areas they’re really good in and which they need to improve in.
Doing so can also help you identify the transferable skills as well that skills that can be built and improved. Let’s say one of your workers has a certain work-related skillset but also learns something like front-end or graphic design as a hobby. If you learn that, you’ll be able to offer them new opportunities and make your team even stronger.
- Be confident.
Sure, it’s important to cooperate when it comes to teamwork. But if you are a manager, you still need to make some decisions on your own and to look confident when doing so.
Confidence is generally important for team leaders. People will do what you say only when you look like you definitely know what you’re doing. Luckily, confidence can be built and improved. All you need to do to achieve that is to go outside your comfort zone and practice a lot.
- Use tools.
Using some tools can help you save time on various things and improve your management skills. For example, messaging apps and team chats can improve communication within the team and help you get the information quicker. Project management tools can help you keep track of the projects your team works on and on their progress as well. Time tracking tools are needed when your team gets paid per hours or when you need to understand how much time they spend on a certain task.
Find out the tools you can use to improve and optimize your team’s work and include them in the working process.
- Set clear expectations.
You want a project finished by the end of the month? Make sure your team knows that.
The same goes for other expectations: they need to be as clear as possible if you want your team to achieve certain goals. You also need to clarify which goals are the most important.
The good way to help your team meet these goals is by setting them regularly. For example, you can set goals for a week and summarize them up later, evaluating the progress.
- Know how to manage conflict.
Conflicts in the workplace should definitely be managed. Otherwise, this could affect the atmosphere within the team and the communication within it as well. In order to avoid that, it’s important for you to address an issue right when it arises, not giving it time to build.
- Give feedback.
People respond to personal feedback better than to general one, so it’s important to ensure that they do get that feedback. Don’t forget that feedback is not only about spotting the flaws but also about the achievements. Always try to find something good in the team member’s work, even if you want to criticize them for something.
- Be yourself.
Sometimes you cannot handle everything on your own, no matter how hard you try. Don’t be afraid to ask for help in this case or to admit that you don’t know everything. Remember: you’re a human too and your team knows that as well. This won’t damage your authority – in fact, it would actually help you bond with the team. After all, you’ll be showing them the human side of yourself.
- Trust the team.
It’s important to lead but it’s just as important to trust. Sure, you need to mentor your team and to monitor their progress, especially during the first month. But this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t trust them.
Keep in mind that there’s time to lead and time to rely on. If you show the team that you trust them and don’t monitor each their step, they will definitely feel better and more confident as well.
It takes time, strength, and wisdom to become a good team leader and manager. Hopefully, these tips will shorten the amount of time needed for that and will help you lead your team more effectively.