When you’re in charge, and you’re responsible for leading a team to deliver results, you need to master the art and science of working through others indirectly. The greater your skills at influencing others, the more your team will get accomplished and the better they’ll feel about it, and feel about working with you. You will be wise to begin building a strong relationship with each member of the team in advance before you begin to ask them to contribute more and sacrifice for the team. Here are some helpful hints to get you started in Getting More Done, Working Through Your Team…
Teach Your Team To Build — Encourage your team to build trust and to view one another as a cohesive team. Get the team to believe the best in one another, as opposed to allowing anything to come between them. Focus on building. Building trust. Building relationships. Building processes to make things easier. Building an environment where people are clear about what must be done, and when, and by whom. Get the team to view everything from the perspective of learning and growth, from the perspective of building. Help the team to envision what you’re building, and what it will look like when it’s here.
Create an Environment Where People Thrive — Set standards for conduct, communication, teamwork and conflict. Emphasize positivity and ensure that everyone on the team observes the “Platinum Rule.” You know, treat others the way THEY prefer to be treated. What better way is there to show people your respect and good faith than to put THEIR interests first? Make sure that every member of your team knows that the Platinum Rule applies to your customers as well as your internal team. Set expectations in a way that everyone knows what success looks like, and be certain that everyone knows that people working together will naturally lead to conflict once in awhile. Make sure everyone knows that you expect the team to be at their best in those moments when conflict occurs. Resolve conflicts with faith, trust, positivity and constructive efforts to affect a win/win outcome.
Provide Context Regularly — Help the team and the individuals on the team to understand exactly how they fit into the strategy. Explain clearly what you’re trying to accomplish, and more importantly, why. When the team knows the reasons behind the strategy, they have an opportunity to commit to the strategy like it’s a cause. If you don’t trust them enough to share the reasoning and the context with them, they can only follow you out of duty or fear. Appeal to the best in your people and they will give you their best, and they will freely give their best to each other.
Provide Conflict Resolution Leadership — If you’ve established a code of conduct or conflict norms, everyone is aware that professionalism and positive behavior are “de rigueur”, and will focus on solving problems in the right way. Frankly, the team needs to work on resolving conflict and managing differences to become skilled and competent in this area, so commit to that effort early and make the team see how much better they’ll be able to work, with some guidelines about how to disagree and how to resolve differences. Encourage the team to exercise these norms: professionalism, constructive, respectful, supportive, active, and integrity. When the team begins to have constructive conflict, encourage them to continue and when they arrive at positive outcomes, celebrate their solutions!
Being in a leadership role with a team is a big responsibility. You can show your team that you are a master of leadership by helping them to learn to work together at a very high level on a consistent basis. When the team builds an environment where everyone can do their best work, without fear of any dysfunctional communication or criticism, everyone feels safe in delivering their strongest contribution and begins to think more like a team and less of a ragged band of individuals who cooperate occasionally. Help the team to align with you and with one another, and to discover the best of what they’re capable of. When the team begins to trust and begins to learn how to operate as a high-performance team, your influence will increase tremendously. You’ll enjoy giving them all the credit, but knowing you had a hand in it…
Michael Beach is a business advisor and a coach who specializes in helping Executives, Business Owners, and their leadership teams to develop great culture and business models that lead to ambitious results for the organization. Michael enjoys working with many Emerging Leaders from medium sized companies from around the United States, and occasionally, from around the world. If you’d like to learn more about Michael’s coaching programs for Emerging Leaders and Executives, visit the website at www.michaelbeachcoach.com or check out his YouTube channel, Michael Beach Coaching & Consulting, where you’ll find dozens of helpful free videos about building your leadership and management skills and developing a proper mindset for leadership and growth.