It can be daunting to find yourself in a leadership position and tasked to manage a new team. Not only do you have to take initiative and give the team direction, but you also have to ensure that your employees work together without any conflict. That said, there needs to be trust within your team to pull these objectives off. It’s hard to feel comfortable working with your colleagues if you don’t believe that they can get the job done.
But before you go about trying to build camaraderie and trust in your team, it’s also important to understand your team’s purpose first. Building team cohesion begins with knowing why your team was formed and what each person’s role is. Read on for some leadership tips for managers that may just help you do all this and more.
Lead by Example
Sometimes, being a leader is not so much about being the boss as it is about being a facilitator. This is something you must actively do if you want your team members to listen to each other and align their behaviours to meet a common goal. Your team members look up to you, so be absolutely clear that your purpose is not to dictate tasks. Instead, it’s about offering support and guidance to help improve your team’s overall performance. Your role is to facilitate an environment where people have the opportunity to be at their best and that includes you.
Communicate Openly with Your Team
Again, trust is cultivated by transparency and constant communication. Without it, your team will not work as efficiently. Make it a point to foster transparency between team members by asking them questions and requesting updates, and encourage them to do the same with each other. That way, they’ll have more opportunities to interact with each other.
Open communication also means being honest with your team members. Make it a point to stress and demonstrate by example that your employees can speak openly, frankly, and strategically to identify and resolve potential problems before they can worsen. This can help your people gain clarity and, in turn, a sense of purpose.
Make Your Employees Feel Safe
Most new employees tend to feel awkward because they don’t know if they can trust their colleagues yet. Hence, you must create a safe environment that lets each member feel that you’ve got their back.
For example, if one of your employees makes a mistake, don’t shift all of your focus on blaming and punishing them for it. After all, it still happened under your watch. Throwing your team member under the bus will only make them feel unsafe and breed resentment towards you.
As a leader, it is your responsibility to tackle the problem with maturity and courage. Instead of pointing fingers, see what you can do to identify why the mistake occurred and prevent it from happening in the future. This will provide your team members with an opportunity to grow while also gaining their respect and appreciation.
Value Each of Your Team Members
Another way to help your team members understand their purpose is to show your recognition for each one of them. Remember: a team works well not because every member is perfect. Rather, it all boils down to cooperation, where they play to their strengths while making up for others’ weaknesses.
So instead of berating your team members for what they lack, put more emphasis on the desirable qualities they do have. Then, come up with ways to help everyone make up for whatever is missing. By making everyone feel important and appreciated, you build trust and confidence in your team members.
Get Personal with Your Team
Allowing you employees to get to know each other more personally is one of the best ways to build a deep sense of trust within the team. Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone should share their deepest, darkest secrets. Rather, this can be achieved by organising casual get-togethers and meetups outside of work. While keeping things professional does have its advantages, many teams simply work better together with established rapport and even friendship between teammates.
Additionally, these types of socialization events allow your team members to see a more human side of you rather than being their superior. This can go a long way toward breaking any illusion that they may have of you as someone who is unapproachable or intimidating. As a result, they’ll be less likely to avoid you at work and will have an easier time approaching you for any concerns.
The best way to be a team leader is to encourage the growth and development of your employees. When you provide the right support, you allow your members to learn as a team and as individuals. That said, if you’re new to managing a team, it’s always a good idea to seek further education to help you hone your leadership skills. Fortunately, there are plenty of leadership development programs that you can enrol in. Alternatively, you can also look into personal and professional coaching services to help you build your confidence and find your own sense of purpose.
Start building trust and purpose within your team, get in touch with Justine Maree Cox and make it happen today.