Knowing how to lead a team isn't easy, and how good you are at it determines the results you’ll get. The fact that about 75% of employers rate teamwork as very important for maximum productivity shows that team-building is one of the best investments you can make as a business owner. For this reason, this article offers you essential tips to help you establish a productive and collaborative team while developing your leadership skills.
What Makes a Good Team Leader?
A good leader isn’t born but rather made. Anyone who wants to know how to be a good team leader must appreciate that leadership differs from job titles like CEO, manager, and the like. Rather, good leadership is a function of your values, skills, and sheer ability to bring out the best in others.
As such, a good percentage of your effectiveness as a leader depends on the level of support you receive from your team members. That’s why you need to treat your employees as partners looking up to you for direction to achieve set goals. To lead the team to success, you need to commit yourself to consistent personal and professional development.
A motivated team can achieve wonders in record time. Let’s discuss seven practical ways to motivate your team as a leader.
1. Understand and Set Clear Team Goals
Whether you are a team responsible for providing regular services or a group that comes together for a one-time purpose, you need a goal. As a leader, it is your responsibility to understand the goals your team needs to succeed and work towards implementing them.
Your goals must be SMART—specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. Your SMART goals can be long-term or short-term and should be in tandem with the overall vision of your team.
2. Provide Clarity
It’s easy to assume that everyone knows what to do. Unfortunately, this has led to many mistakes in workplaces. Ambiguity leads to confusion and, ultimately, poor results.
As a leader, you need to define each team member’s task clearly. If possible, have it documented or use project management solutions to track those tasks and progress made. It doesn’t stop there; if your team members need occasional clarifications, make it easy for them to approach you confidently to get the help they need.
3. Engage in Consistent Team Building
Today, teams may come together in person or virtually, but regardless of meeting mode, team building is an important activity for a strong team. Here are a few team-building ideas.
Schedule opportunities for your team to take breaks and form connections.
Host a social award period to celebrate your team's success and little wins.
Schedule virtual meeting hours to check in with leadership.
Create team art activities (online or in person).
Take walks and trips together or plan a walking break at lunch to get to know your members better.
Encourage family social time to bring members’ partners, kids, or pets together.
4. Treat Everyone With Respect
As you lead the team to success, showing respect to your team members is an important factor in earning their loyalty and trust. While team managers may have employees who fear them because of their position, the title does not automatically earn respect. A leader can earn the team's respect by listening, showing kindness, keeping promises, and treating team members as people whose opinions matter, not just additions to the staff list.
5. Show Appreciation
Always reward your team for the hard work they put into their tasks. When your team achieves results, put in extra effort to show them you are grateful. Whether it is in the form of cash, gifts, perks, or more valuable responsibilities, just do it.
Do not be excessive in your praises, but be intentional to keep the momentum within the team until it reaches its ultimate goal.
6. Develop a Strong Vision
One tip on how to be a good leader is to appreciate the importance of vision casting. Giving your team the right vision will help them see the big picture and inspire them to reach their highest potential.
One way to achieve this is to consistently remind them of the goals you want to hit as an organization. You can make it more practical by running routine presentations where you analyze where the business has been, where it is, and where it’s headed.
7. Foster an Open Communication Culture
Another way to motivate a team as a leader is to encourage communication. No matter your goal, your team should be able to communicate effectively to succeed. Most people would rather work alone, finish their jobs, and move ahead.
So, to get people to converse more and work as a team, you need to create an enabling environment that fosters bonding, trust, and collaboration. These tips can help:
Introduce a proper teamwork and collaboration orientation and project planning meetings to develop certain skills for the task.
Engage all members in frequent problem-solving sessions, as this will develop practical communication skills.
Express appreciation and share how valuable and useful your team members are and how their actions made a difference.
Remind your team members to assume the best intentions, even during conflict.
Set up a room for virtual team meetings or dedicate an account for video meetings.
There’s no end to how much you can do to bring out the best in your team. While doing all these things, it makes sense to learn about what strategies other business owners and leaders employ to increase their team’s productivity and results.
If you want to find out, the next step is to join EO Boston, a leading network of entrepreneurs across different industries focused on transformational growth. EO Boston offers you various opportunities to learn how to motivate a team as a leader through its plethora of events, masterclasses, and seminars.
Being an exclusive organization, EO Boston membership is restricted to only entrepreneurs who meet certain conditions. Click to find out if you qualify to join.