Carole Spiers details her tops tips for leading teams successfully to create maximum productivity and performance

A strong leader who demonstrates caring for their team is more likely to have a team who in turn care about their own personal goals and successes. A team that cares can mean the difference between moderate and maximum productivity and performance.

Not everyone is born with the skillset to lead a team. However, like many skills, it can be taught. The more you practice a skill, the better at it you become. The steps below can form part of the building blocks to developing this skillset.

1. Have Their Back

A good leader is one that takes the brunt of the force in order to alleviate the challenges of the team. They look out for their team members who can rest assured their leader has their back. This will increase their faith in you and establish a relationship of trust and cooperation.

2. Be Adaptable

Many team leaders can find it hard to change their direction in light of new information or circumstances, or when plans fail. Most people don’t admit when they are wrong, mistakenly assuming that this may highlight weaknesses when in actual fact it can reveal their strength. Team members need to trust the judgment of their leader and support their decisions because they appreciate honesty and transparency.

3. Unite Your Team

The best team leaders make an effort to get to know and understand their team members on a personal level. Creating and sharing positive social experiences with your team helps to establish a connection and build a trusting relationship. Spending quality time with your team, rather than hiding away in the office, is known to build trust as it leads to the release of oxytocin, a hormone that helps us empathise and relate to others.

4. Put Yourself in Their Shoes

It is said that the higher up in the company you go, the lower your emotional intelligence may become, including the ability to empathise. However, it is important to relate to, and engage with your team members, being able to put yourself in their shoes: why they might do something, or how they might be feeling. Imagine the fears, challenges, and problems that they may be experiencing.

5. Set Goals

Think about the way a sports coach trains an athlete to perform. The athlete delivers the result and while the coach feels pride and happiness for them, they don’t stop there. They show them what can go wrong or how they can do better. They set their sights on the next goal and strive to achieve more. Teams appreciate leaders who challenge them and push them to reach and exceed their goals.

6. Don’t Get Too Invested

While it is good to genuinely care and engage in authentic, trusting relationships with your employees, too much emotion can lead to an unproductive team. Leaders are trusted to do what is right, not what is easy. It can be tempting to find an easier way out, however, this may not work in the long-term.

7. Communicate

You can probably tell when something is bothering a friend. That same skill set is drawn upon when things aren’t quite right with members of your team. We hear that people would rather deal with risk, as opposed to ambiguity. So, it is important to clearly communicate and listen. Provide as much information as you can for your team, otherwise they can come to lose trust in you.

8. Value Your Team

Feeling valued is one of the most important emotional, human needs to be met. Failing to provide recognition or advance people’s progression is the leading cause of employee dissatisfaction.

When you are at work, you want to know that you’re an integral part of the company. You want to know when you have done a good job. It is the same for the rest of your team. Teams feel happier and driven to improve when they receive recognition and incentives.

Good luck with these tips which will help you to get a better grasp on leadership and create more productive teams.

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Carole Spiers FISMA, FPSA, MIHPE is the Chair of the International Stress Management Association (ISMAUK) and founder of International Stress Awareness Week. She is an acknowledged authority on corporate stress and CEO of the Carole Spiers Group (London ... (Read More)

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