Leading a team can be hugely rewarding and at the same time really challenging. On the plus side you have the opportunity to influence the direction of travel and results. On the other hand you are accountable for results and are often the person people turn too in times of challenge.
So what does it take to be a successful team leader?
If you are leading the team you are probably good at what you do. At the same time do you have an awareness of those areas where you need to improve or delegate because there are others that are better equipped than you to deliver?
Great Interpersonal Skills
Technical skills and knowledge are important to a point. Yet the best team leaders in my experience are those who also have great interpersonal skills. After all leading is all about getting results through others. If you have the interpersonal skills to build relationships and support you are ahead of the majority.
You might think that you can do it all. The reality is very different. You have to Trust others. This is not just desirable but essential. If you don’t trust others you will simply burn out or lose the support of others.
Tact and Diplomacy
You will never be short of challenging situations as a team leader. It might seem tempting to jump right in and sort things out. The bull in a china shop approach rarely works. It’s much better to use tact and diplomacy rather than to go in with all guns blazing.
Big Ears Small Mouth
Everyone tells me communication is important. And it is. However if you ask people what disengages them most, chances are not been listened to or being listened to and no action being taking will be high up on their list. Learn to listen and you will be amazed at the difference it will make.
Focus On Improvement and Acknowledgement on Here and Now
Perhaps you are making progress but not improving at the rate that you would like. It is easy in this situation to become focused on what is not being done and lose sight of the progress being made. By all means focus on improvement and at the same time be willing to acknowledge progress too.
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