“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” —John Quincy Adams
Over the course of my career, I have run many teams. They range from over 300 personnel and 16 nationalities for Coca-Cola in Jeddah, West Saudi Arabia to a small team of 4 in Vienna, Austria.
In every role I have used the same management techniques and they appear to have worked, as many of the people I have worked with, can confirm.
These techniques are not based on personal style, but on common sense and business sense. Thus, they should work for everyone.
1. Be as Transparent as Possible
Trust your people and you will be rewarded. Don’t try and protect them from information you feel they should not know.
People can tell if you’re hiding something and anyway, they can often find out from others outside the team if they feel you aren’t telling them everything.
Contrary to many leaders views, most of your people are capable of doing their job. Give them a framework and be there for them if they make mistakes, but allow them to do their job.
3. Be a Good Back Up
If they do fail, make a mistake, or use incorrect judgement, and if you delegated properly, then support them and defend them. Counsel them, mentor them and send them out there again feeling they are ready for the next challenge.
4. Be Honest
Don’t tell someone they are doing well when they aren’t. They know! And it just makes you look stupid! Be kind and honest. It is not necessary to hurt their feelings when giving honest feedback. It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it!
If they are not going to get a pay rise or the promotion they hoped for, don’t blame the company or someone else. That’s the coward’s way out. You also work for the company; it’s not another entity. By blaming others you beg the question, “Then why are you working here?”
5. Have Confrontation When Needed
This sort of goes with being honest, but some people don’t realize that the two sometimes go together. If your team member doesn’t agree with you, that’s OK, but don’t leave it there.
Talk it out, debate it and ensure it doesn’t get out of hand. Confrontation can be healthy. It can clear the air and help you reach the right decision together, rather than you having to order it done.
It can also save a load of time. I have been at meetings when the leader has beat around the bush trying to make a point because it is potentially contentious. None of us have time for this. Get to the point, have meaningful discussions, agree an action plan and move on.
6. Be Decisive
There’s nothing worse than indecision. Even a wrong decision is better than no decision, because action helps move things forward. I used to work for a boss who accused his boss of saying, “I used to be indecisive, but now I’m not so sure.” It sort of summarizes many situations.
When making a decision, ask for views, make an evaluation and then decide. When you inform your team of your decision, explain how you got to it and that you appreciate their support in making it happen.
Don’t try and please everyone. You can’t. And anyway, as a team leader, that’s not your role. Leave that to a lady of the night!
I hope you’ve found this useful. Let me know if you have other tips we should share with team leaders and teams alike. Just leave your comments below and if you got this far…thank you!
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