Leading people is a challenge but as a team leader, that is exactly the core task. They are responsible for the course of the work process and have to manage a sometimes difficult balancing act between different aspects. Our tips will help you get started.
1. Clarify your self-image
What are you like as an executive? What are your strengths, what would you like to work on? Which central values do you represent? What is your fundamental attitude as the link between employees and the company?
All these things are important for your role as team leader. Therefore, you should actively deal with these topics at the beginning. From time to time it can be helpful to critically compare how you actually act and what you have set yourself.
2. Do you know your team members
First, familiarize yourself with each individual person. Only if you know who has what strengths and weaknesses, what ideas, wishes and ambitions can you distribute the tasks ideally. You may also recognize who you should bring on board.
Put together your own team, make sure you select the right employees. Not only the professional qualification plays an important role also the possible group dynamics, the existing relationships between the individuals as well as their respective human qualities.
If you meet the employees openly, if you perceive them holistically as people and if you also have knowledge of human nature, empathy, a good power of observation and backbone, that is half the battle. Talk openly about conflicts in a team and remain empathetic.
3. Listen and communicate openly
It is important for a smooth workflow to communicate information effectively and transparently. Share all information with all team members so that no one feels left out and everyone can get involved. Be honest, even on unpleasant points, and inform early about every aspect of the project.
In discussions, it is your job to moderate structure and create a constructive atmosphere. Get to the heart of the matter, formulate criticism constructively and always objectively instead of with personal references. Clear rules with regard to cooperation are just as important at the human level as they are at the factual level.
Being able to express appreciation and recognition is also fundamental for team leaders, as the motivation of your team depends very much on whether everyone feels respected and appreciated. Here the “open ear” is in demand! Stay calm and listen to the needs, concerns and ideas of employees without nervous glances at the clock.
4. Stay on the ground.
It is not a sign of weakness to ask experienced colleagues for advice. This makes it clear that you can assess yourself and your skills well and respect the experience of your employees. You set an example and it is important that your team members are open to not being omniscient. Delegate; cultivate constructive cooperation!
Try to keep making yourself clear how your appearance affects others. Correct your behavior if necessary. An apology, where appropriate, shows character: you are no more infallible than any other person. Where managers can be open to mistakes, employees are more likely to admit mistakes.
A healthy self-confidence is indispensable for you as a team leader. Nevertheless, if you remain authentic, do not bend yourself. Good leaders are the connecting element that unites the most diverse people into a group. This can only succeed if employees trust you and consider you credible.
5. Stand up for important values
Your team members need to be able to rely on your word so don’t make promises you may not be able to keep, don’t gloss over, and keep your promises. A project is completed, but the relationship with employees continues. That’s why you should focus on the people involved and relationships.
Be fair. Through your actions, show how you ideally imagine the work to be. Do not be afraid to take on unpleasant tasks this will ensure respect and credibility in the team. Make your decisions transparent so that employees can understand them, even if you disagree.
6. Take your responsibility seriously
As team leader you are the link between the company and the team members. Motivate the employees by showing that you stand for the company’s values and that you work enthusiastically on the current project. You are the locomotive that pulls the team train: You decide how, how quickly and by what means you reach your goal together. This also includes the coordination and organization of the framework conditions.
Keep a cool head even in crisis situations. It is up to you to ensure a calm and objective working atmosphere that enables thoughtful and systematic action. Avoid assigning blame. Instead, consider together how best to solve the situation. But in the end you make the decision and are responsible for it. Imagine yourself in front of your team members!
Have the courage to draw the consequences. This is often uncomfortable. However, your team rightly expects you to ensure that the rules are observed. Act consistently, because this is the only way to be credible. For your employees it is also predictable what consequences their decisions will have. It should go without saying that you adhere to the rules yourself!
The main thing is patience and joy in the cause
Every development takes time so don’t expect yourself to do everything right immediately. Give your best and assume that your employees do the same. Don’t take the under-performance of team members personally, but as an opportunity to promote their development. If you are also able to enjoy your job and convey this positive feeling, you are on the right track.