Great, you’ve just been promoted to a supervisor’s position, and now it’s your job to lead a team – be it two or twenty people. It’s always been a goal of yours, a chance to better show your talent. But there’s a big question that remains: do you know how to lead a team? Leadership comes naturally to some, and others can learn it. If you harbor some doubts as to where to start, we’ll summarize here, in just three key words, what it means to be a leader.
Keep in mind that leadership is a set of behaviors that are assimilated and improved through daily tests of patience, respect for others, open thinking and empathy. Every leader must have confidence in what they are saying, and the flexibility and presence of mind to change when presented with a situation in which that change becomes necessary. Being malleable does not mean fickle: opinions should be well thought out, decisions extensively evaluated, and perceived risks mitigated. Keeping your word helps to establish trust: promises range from salary increases to better working conditions. Leaders are consistent in what they say and sometimes change their actions to maintain the confidence of their employees.
When it comes to trust, it’s important to remember that a litmus test of a person’s ability to lead their team is a capacity to convey credibility. An unfortunate comment during a meeting or a decision that’s imposed without dialogue can be enough for your team’s confidence in you to take a hit. What’s the solution? Learn what each team member values the most and take what you’ve learned into consideration in your interactions with those employees.
>> Recommended reading: Trends defining the composition a high-performance team
Collaboration is a fundamental part of teamwork. After all, what is a team without its leader’s commitment? It’s just people grouped for no apparent purpose. When you’re leading a team, you must show that you care and are working towards the success of the group, following the same objectives as you’ve given them. It’s possible to both give your employees a chance to make their views known and to provide them with a clear understanding of the organization when using a collaborative approach. Imposing rigid rules or processes can limit your team’s motivation, and negatively affect creativity. Steer your ship with the prevailing currents, understanding how to deal with external pressures without losing your authority.
>> Recommended reading: Brave New World: Setting Career Development Goals
The word “leader” is thought to come from the Indo-European laitho, meaning to cause others to follow a particular path. Leaders must know what they are doing. They must be prepared to take responsibility, sometimes for incidents that are not necessarily their fault or of their doing. So, try to avoid being the kind of leader who blames employees for the team’s problems. Be honest with yourself and the people who work with you and accept the blame for any mistakes you might make.
It is also essential to make it clear that the responsibility for the team’s successes and failures is shared by the group as a whole, and not is not just the burden or merit of the leader. Sharing responsibilities is an excellent way to build effective group dynamics, increase trust, improve work organization, and resolve conflicts. If everyone feels that they are a part of the process, they will work more diligently for the group’s success. Leadership also conveys positive energy and instills productive attitudes, which engages the team responsibly – because everyone knows that they will be evaluated and, when suitable results are forthcoming, rewarded.
>> Recommended readings:
How can technology help you lead your team?
If you want to earn the respect of a dedicated team, you must work transparently. One of the best strategies for leading a team is to implement collaborative tools in the workplace – where decisions are registered, and priorities are well-defined. Runrun.it is a task and team management tool that will help you with this, as well as automate the boring, but necessary, tasks of day-to-day operations. This will leave you with more time to focus on creative strategies to boost your department or company. Sign up for a free trial at https://runrun.it/