There are so many leadership concepts out there. Some good, some great and some just shouldn’t be out there at all! Overall though there’s some pretty good stuff to be had from friends, mentors and from trawling the internet on how to be a more effective leader. Really though, you need to try what you can and keep what works for you. We’re all different and so are the people we lead.
At times, even the stuff you know works won’t work, so it’s good to keep on learning and especially let other people make the mistakes. So what’s new in this article? Well, my experience has shown that articles like this can hold a great little nugget or two – so here’s hoping you find them:
There are four areas you can focus on as a leader to help your team achieve and perform well, namely: Give direction, coach, monitor and recognise.
This mean that you are talking to your team regularly and frequently about what is happening, targets, goals, performance and about improvements that can be made. People want to be kept informed and clear, open communication falls under this vital component of a leader’s responsibility. Tell people what’s going on and help them have no doubt as to what they need to do and how it fits in the bigger picture.
Coaching is an essential component of leading and allows you to reinforce desired behaviours and embed them as normal into the team. Remember that good coaches aren’t just watching the scoreboard – they watch the game as well. Some days the scoreboard just won’t reflect the effort and the performance. You need to watch both! This means that you need to observe your team members in action and provide effective feedback on the behaviours you see. Coaching can be rewarding for both you and your team members. Learn good coaching skills as it will have the biggest impact on your team.
You need to be able to track the progress of your team. Be careful here though and monitor only those areas that are really important. Remember that what we measure we focus on. Review what you’re measuring regularly. If you don’t know why you are measuring something it’s probably not worth measuring. If it’s not having an impact on the business or the team, why bother? When performance is measured, performance increases. When it’s reported on, the rate of improvement actually accelerates, so make sure you report back on those measures.
People like to receive recognition. It doesn’t matter if it’s their job they’re performing, reinforce the performance by recognising it. Make sure though that however you choose to recognise someone, it’s done in the form desired by the recipient. Use recognition early when you are trying to instil new behaviours as it will encourage the continuation of those behaviours. Ensure that you are sincere and avoid overdoing it as it will become diluted. Consider recognition when people consistently perform at a high standard, when they exceed your expectations, go above and beyond, or when you feel they need a bit more motivation.
Check out Rapid Result’s Team Leader Workshop: http://www.rapidresults.co.nz/afawcs0129605/CATID=2/SUBID=9/Public-Course-Calendar/Team-Leader-(2-days).html
For more tips on leading a team, take a look at these free 1 minute training videos: http://www.rapidresults.co.nz/wa.asp?idWebPage=49947&idDetails=169