How to Be an Effective Team Leader!
How to Be an Effective Team Leader!
While everyone has a part to play in a team, leaders have the biggest roles. They have to keep the team together, facilitate interactions and collaboration, and oversee team communication.
That makes being a good team leader a challenge. With so many irons in the fire, so to speak, the chances of making a mistake go up dramatically!
But don’t worry, because a bit of preparation can go a long way here. That’s why we’ll help you out with now with some tips on how to be an effective team leader.
- Know your motivation as a team leader - First and foremost, you should ask yourself what your goals are as you start leading your team.
Are you doing this for the sake of the position assigned to you? Or do you sincerely want to help others (and yourself) to improve and reach maximum potential?
Being clear about your motivation is important. In this way, you’ll know what guidelines to set and how to approach problems that might come your way.
- Understand your strengths and weaknesses - It’s helpful to determine where you excel and where you’re lacking as a leader. That way, you can work on the areas where you need to improve.
- Initiate open and honest communication - We all have different personalities... but if we’re comfortable enough to be honest, building unity is much easier. You should be able to acknowledge the vital roles of each member and be compassionate with one another.
This can be hard if you don’t engage in enough conversations with team members, however. That’s why a big part of this process involves you reaching out to team members and encouraging them to do the same.
You can start by simply greeting them and asking how they’re doing. Engage them in dialogue regularly and encourage them to share not just their successes but also their fears or concerns.
Recognize their growth or encourage them as needed. This essential rapport-building can help members of the team open up to you and each other.
- Be a good guide - Have you ever been confused by rapid-fire orders from your bosses that came with zero guidance? If so, then you should know that this isn’t a good thing to perpetuate.
Prior to assigning a task, don’t forget to offer guidelines and show team members the proper way of working on it. Be patient with them if you know that they might not get it for the first time.
Allow for mistakes and remind them that you’ll always be there whenever they have concerns. Guiding them now will spare you the trouble of having to do so later, anyway.
- Trust and have faith in your team - In line with guiding them through tasks, believing in their capacity and skills is also important. You can’t micro-manage -- that’s how most team leaders burn out!
You should also know when to take a step back and just listen to your team’s opinions because this might generate a brand new idea or a more innovative solution. Remember that a good leader knows how to be a good follower as well, so always treat your team with respect.
- Be accessible - Sometimes, plans go awry. This is why it’s extremely important to always be available for the team during working hours.
Set up a good communication line between you and your team. Keep availability regular, so that they have an idea of when you’re available or when you’re likely to send a reply.
- Be decisive - You need to be able to make up your mind and reach a decision as fast as possible when managing a team. Good team leaders don’t rush into things, of course -- but they also don’t dawdle.
Be responsive and efficient when presenting your suggestions to the management. When it comes to task assignment, review the priorities in the project and which tasks are suitable for a certain member.
Create solutions that’ll last. Every decision you make will have an effect on future projects, after all.
- Believe in yourself - Be confident in yourself. A leader who questions himself too often will find it hard to be authoritative and decisive.
This can also help your colleagues feel more assured with your leadership. If they see that you know what you’re doing, they’ll be more likely to relax and follow directives.
- Do an evaluation - Due to some companies being solely focused on achieving business goals, they tend to miss out on other things such as the improvement of employee’s performances. But monitoring the progress of each member is one of the biggest duties of a team leader.
Evaluate members of the team on a regular basis. Letting them know about their overall performance will help them be aware of their current capability and may motivate them to improve themselves.
- Ask for feedback - Last but not least, knowing how they see you as a team leader can guide you towards building excellent teamwork. With their feedback, you’ll be able to see yourself from their point of view and understand where they’re coming from.
There are things that only your team members will know and see, so you need to listen and accept their constructive criticism. Use their feedback as your motivation to be better.
These are the things you need to do as a team leader. As we said earlier, it’s not a piece of cake, but these tips should make it a little bit easier for you.
Have you any questions about how to be an effective team leader? Drop us a line and we’ll help you out with some more advice on the matter!
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