Leading a team can sometimes be overwhelming, especially if you’re new to people management. But even for seasoned leaders leading a new team is always challenging, as you must identify each member’s character, strengths and weaknesses.
Where to start?
Live and breathe goals
Leading a team without team goals is like taking a road trip without directions. Goals are essential, so everyone will get a clear vision of what is expected from them and avoid any confusion. Note that the goals you set should not be limited to the development of your team but should also be aligned with the company’s top-line aspirations.
Know your team
Familiarisation with your direct reports is essential so you know who to turn to for specific tasks. In the digital age, it is easy to set one-on-one meetings with team members. During these, you can ask round-about questions to glean their strengths, weaknesses, deliverables, work challenges, suggestions. Of course, you do not have to limit topics to business. You may also ask personal questions, provided they feel comfortable and confident conversing with you about such.
Remember, leading a team does not mean you should give yourself a hernia trying to work faster than those around you, nor does it mean you delegate everything in your inbox. Nobody likes or respects a slopy shouldered boss, who simply forwards on requests. A leader needs to be busy clearing the road ahead so their team can work at pace without blockers.
Build a trusting relationship
Trust is the foundation of healthy working relationships and should not only be limited to one side. Give your team the benefit of the doubt that they can perform their tasks with autonomy. Remember, micromanaging can negatively affect the relationship between the manager and the staff, so it is best to stay one step removed. Team members will likely bask in this trust and their confidence will develop.
Communication is the most significant aspect of leading a team. One miscommunication can have serious ramifications, so you must be careful when providing instructions and relaying your plans. However, communication should not go one way. It’s incumbent on you to teach the value of communication to your team and ask them to share their ideas to help improve their deliverables or alleviate issues that are hindering potential.