If you lead a team, you’ll have one objective – to optimise its performance.
But how can you do this when you’re managing a collection of disparate individuals? How can you develop a cohesive unit where everyone works together, delivers their best and supports one another, when each member of your team has their own unique personality, character and motivation?
Whether you subscribe to the view that great leaders are born or made, there are three things all leaders must do if they’re to inspire their team to perform at the highest level:
- Build Strong Relationships
A cornerstone of successful leadership is building, developing and nurturing strong relationships with everyone in your team – not just with senior-level staff.
As well as having a clear understanding of the skills each individual brings to the team, you must invest time to get to know all those you’re managing on a personal level. Taking time to learn about the individuals you manage will help you understand the dynamics of your team.
It’s important also to make opportunities for team members to get to know each other. In this way, the team will become far more than the sum of its parts.
When everyone in the team has confidence and trust in everyone else and knows how they work, creativity and synergy will happen naturally. Team members will intuitively know how to respond to one another to achieve their shared goals.
To develop this level of mutual connection in your team, you’ll need to dedicate a higher proportion of your time to supporting and listening to your staff. But you’ll have to exercise your judgement as to when it’s appropriate to relax with your team and when you need to push them to deliver your objectives.
Invest in building relationships with your team and explore ways in which you can celebrate their wins with them. You can’t win every time, so remember to empathise and console team members when the outcome isn’t what you wanted.
- Be Clear About Your Objectives & Plans
People aren’t manufactured – they grow organically, with their own strengths, weaknesses and preferences – in their own time. They also do it when they have something they want to achieve for themselves and each other. But on its own, this isn’t enough.
Teams need to believe, understand the plan and have the skills to put the method in place as standard practice if they’re to stand a chance of achieving. Experience helps of course, and this will come with time, but you’ll need to ensure your team has clarity about what you want them to do, and how they are to work together to achieve it.
If you’re disappointed with your team’s performance on any level, it’s worth asking yourself if you’re communicating as effectively as you should be.
So often we expect people to know what we want them to do without giving them clear directions or the benefit of our advice. When it’s deserved, be sure to praise team members, so they keep going, and when you need them to make adjustments to the way they’re working, give them the constructive feedback they need to be able to understand and implement the change you require.
- Mindset & Preparation
Your team might be a composite of all the right skills and experience. Still, if you don’t prepare them for the task you want them to undertake by instilling the right mindset and giving them the opportunity to practice, you can’t be sure how they’ll perform under pressure.
With a positive team mindset, your team has the best chance of achieving its goals. Success is the result of incremental actions, some of which may appear small, but when added together, can make the difference between winning or failing.
And the adage, ‘practice makes perfect’ may be a cliché, but it’s also true. Individually, your team know what to do and how to do it – that’s knowledge, but only through practice will you be able to help them create the neurological pathways they need to be able to act instinctively and to stay focused in the moment only on delivery.
As we said earlier, you can’t expect to win 100% of the time, but if you know your team has a winning mindset and has rehearsed every potential step – if the outcome doesn’t go your way, you’ll be able to move on to the next opportunity knowing everyone did their very best, with no need for blame or excuses.
Can We Help You Create a Winning Team?
At Organic P&O Solutions, we work with teams of all shapes and sizes, helping team members understand each other, communicate effectively, develop a successful mindset and work together towards a common goal.
If you’d like to find out more about how we can help you create a winning team, call us today to arrange an initial conversation.