When thinking about how to manage a team, it’s important to remember that effective management takes time to implement. Successful management requires patience, creativity, and a willingness to constantly improve and try new things. The following tips will help you improve your team’s collaboration and productivity, while also making your life as a team leader more efficient.


Focus on Consistency

One of the most important team leadership skills you can develop is consistency. The tips outlined throughout this article will help you more effectively manage your team, but only if applied consistently with every employee. Your employees shouldn’t be left wondering from day to day what your stance is on an issue or behavior.

Therefore, it may be useful to implement one new management technique or policy at a time.


Lead By Example

The best way to encourage behavior and real change is to lead by example. When your employees have a visual model of what’s expected of them, they will naturally begin to follow your lead. It’s the team leader’s responsibility to meet the same standards they expect from their team members.

If you’re constantly cutting corners, why should your staff do things by the book? If you’re showing up late, there’s no reason that your staff won’t think that’s acceptable behavior. Leaders are naturally role models, so embrace this and always set the standard.


Communicate Simply

One of the most common sources of team tension is miscommunication. Especially with digital communication, it’s important for leaders to communicate as effectively as possible. There are four factors that go into effective communication:

  • Clarity
  • Accuracy
  • Brevity
  • Tone

When communicating with your team, focus on delivering your ideas as simply as possible with these ideas in mind. Don’t go on long unrelated tangents when your goal is to briefly recap a meeting. Always make sure the tone of your message is clear; don’t leave your employees wondering if they did something right or wrong.


Remember to Delegate

Delegation is an essential team leadership skill. If your plate is full of tasks that could be easily handled by other team members, you’re doing yourself and your team a disservice. When the team leader can focus on tasks that are vital to the team’s success, rather than worrying about every single detail, the team can work together more efficiently. Don’t be afraid to delegate, especially non-essential errands or tasks.


Be A Flexible Leader

While it’s important to be a consistent leader, it’s important to remain flexible. While you should encourage the same behavior across the team, the way you deliver your message or feedback should be tailored for each employee.

In order to be successful, team management must adapt to the strengths and weaknesses of each team member. An effective leadership team is flexible and willing to work to find the most effective approach for each employee.


Work on Team Development

Constantly encourage your team members to develop themselves and their skills. A stagnant team is often less creative than one encouraged to work together to improve their skillsets. Whether you enroll your team in skill development classes, bring in outside speakers to explain core concepts, or merely reward employees for going above and beyond the scope of their job, do what you can to encourage this behavior.

Not only will your team become more skilled over time, but you’ll also often find that employees who are given the opportunity to develop themselves are more passionate about the team’s work.


Build Trust Within the Team

The most effective way to build trust within your team is to implement consistency, as we’ve already covered. However, there are other ways you can encourage trust between team members. Another effective tactic is to encourage a team culture of cooperation rather than competition.

When managing a team, remember that it will take time to build trust. No matter how many team-building exercises you perform, there’s a certain level of trust that only develops over time. The best way to start building this type of relationship with your team members is to trust them first, so avoid micromanaging your team.


Set Team Goals

A team with at least one shared goal has a clearer motivation than a team without one. Not only does a unified goal remind your team to work together, but it also opens up an opportunity to encourage team-wide behavior. Keep the team goal at the front of everything you do, and keep it posted somewhere the majority of the team will see it at least once a day.


Encourage Open Dialogue

When learning how to manage a team, it’s essential that you also learn how to have an open dialogue with a team. Once you’ve learned how to communicate effectively, you should be communicating often. Keep everyone in the team updated, at least on a general level.

For example, there’s no need to drag the entire team into a matter that only concerns the two salespeople, but the public relations employee will definitely want to know that the team’s focus will be on the sales-side for a few weeks until the issue is resolved. With the team’s focus elsewhere, the PR employee will feel less pressured, and may finally get the chance to tackle the low-priority tasks that often get put aside.


Take Advantage of Software

As we’ve already explored, a large factor in your team’s success is how effectively you communicate. In today’s digital age, teams can take advantage of team management software to stay on track and collaborate all in one place. When everyone in the team has access to all the important documents, files, and announcements in one place, miscommunication is much less likely.

There are more team management software options than we can list here, but keep your team’s purpose in mind when searching for the right software. A team of writers will benefit from using Trello and Google Docs, whereas a sales team will use Slack and GoToMeeting to collaborate.


Become Familiar with Your Team

As you work and grow with your team, it’s helpful to become familiar with them. The leader who has coffee in the break room is generally more well-regarded than the leader who never leaves their office.

Be available to your team during downtime, and become familiar with the quirks of your team members. Not only will being friendly with your team to improve morale, but it will also help you gain a clearer picture of how to manage each team member, or at least make their work-life a little easier. For instance, the hard-working secretary that is terrible at remembering names gets a quick email before important clients arrive.


Recognize Talent and Achievement

A leader that knows how to manage a team successfully is also one that knows how to throw a good office party when the situation arises. Celebrating success, and the talent it took to make it happen, is essential to creating a healthy team culture. While not every achievement deserves an office party, an email to thank a team member for going above and beyond is free and takes less than ten minutes.

Remember to recognize your employees consistently. If Jane gets a gift card for landing her big sale, make sure you give one to Leon three months later when he lands his biggest sale of the year.


Make It Enjoyable

Finally, go beyond productivity when you think about how to manage your team, and think about how you can make your team’s work enjoyable. Whether you do whatever you can to encourage a culture of support, or if you streamline your team’s work to remove frustrations, do what you can to make your team’s work-life more enjoyable.

Become known as the team leader who looks to take frustration and redundancy out of your team’s work, and you’ll be on your way to an efficient team.

An easy way to add enjoyment to your team’s life while also promoting creativity, productivity, and collaboration is to introduce a change of scenery. When working on a large or important project, there’s no better way to motivate your team than with an engaging business meeting, complete with a meeting room that invokes images of Fortune 500 companies.


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