15 Management Skills To Effectively Lead Your Team
To effectively manage a team, there are a few characteristics and management skills that you absolutely need in your toolbox. Without them, it can be challenging to rally your team to work toward common goals and perform at their best.
Team management demands various skills and possessing most of these will set you apart from most managers as well as place you a few steps closer to your success. First, you need to be able to identify what these essential skills are.
Here is our list of the 15 most effective team management skills for getting the best results through your team:
#1 Recognizing How Our Own Biases Affect Decisions
A true leader endeavours to treat all members of their team fairly. We all have biases and it is important to recognize our own and work to mitigate these. It is vital for a leader to be seen as fair. Any and all decisions made should be free from undue influence, whether this be from one’s own internal filters or something or somebody external. Fairness and the ability to engage in discussion – even admit that you were wrong, is a crucial leadership attribute, and will help you develop trust in your team.
#2 Keeping Things Organized
The organization of work is a skill that a good leader should possess. If your work is effectively organized, you set the example for your team. , It is important that clear standards are agreed, trained and maintained regarding the storage of data and information, at every level. If everybody has easy access to information that is appropriate and necessary for their work when they need it, your team can work more effectively.
#3 Clear Directions
Being able to provide accurate direction to your team is a necessary skill to develop your team members and ensure that their efforts are pointed in the right direction. Even the best employees need guidance when it comes to the prioritizing of tasks, which is why a leader needs to guide them throughout the process. Be careful though not to fall into the disempowering trap of doing their work for them! Effective team management means aligning the entire team with the strategic goals of the business, being clear on the roles of each person in achieving these, and with clarity of their collective team purpose.
#4 Individualized Relationships
Paying personal attention to every team member will ensure that you know them as people, not just functions. It makes it easier to identify when an employee is not performing well and the reasons for this, so that you can provide appropriate support to overcome the challenge. It also helps you discover the strengths and developmental areas of your team members, so you can ensure that training budgets are effectively used, and people can contribute at their best.
#5 Building a Team Culture of Trust
The foundation of good teamwork is trust. When there is a foundation of trust between team members and between the team and their leader, exceptional results are possible and innovation thrives. This is easier said than done, and takes a lot of attention. First and foremost is allowing people to productively learn through mistakes and failure. Employees who are afraid of failing will only do what is absolutely necessary. Employees who feel safe in the knowledge that failures are treated as valuable learning opportunities for the whole team to grow can achieve outstanding results.
#6 Set an Example
A leader needs to lead by being authentic and walking their talk. By conducting themselves according to their own expressed values and those of the company, they will inspire their team to do the same. One way to practice inspiring your team is to visibly make a hard decision to take the ethical route in a dilemma rather than an easier or more convenient route, thereby setting an example for your team.
#7 Encourage Clarity of Communication
Effective, clear communication between team members promotes collaboration and joint productivity. It is vital to identify where communication barriers exist and engage your team in identifying ways to overcome these. It helps tremendously when employees clearly understand what is required of them, and can check for clarity when uncertain. This has a positive impact on team performance because they know exactly what is needed from them, how they can achieve this and what is required to help each other.
#8 Be Open-Minded
Remember to engage your team in how best to achieve milestones and goals, and allow them to co-create what needs to be implemented. No one person has all the answers (certainly not the manager!), and collective thinking usually produces more creative, innovative solutions than individual thinking. There are times when you will need to make a fast decision, however wherever possible, involve the team in co-creating solutions. This both builds trust and develops a feeling of value.
#9 Advocate Your Team’s Performance
As a leader, it is important to give recognition where it is due, and shed light on your team’s performance. Allow them opportunities to engage with upper management, especially in areas where they have specialist knowledge. Not only does this enhance their development, it projects you as the kind of leader who develops their people – another core leadership skill. The benefits are positive for all concerned!
#10 Be Easily Accessible
Make sure that your team is able to reach you with suggestions and to ask for help when they need it. This doesn’t mean to say you have to be available 24/7 – rather that your teams knows when and how they can connect with you in the normal course of work, and how to reach you in an emergency. Whilst you want to empower your team with the space to own their work and roles, it’s important they know you are available to guide them when more experience or a higher level of authority is required.
#11 Provide Useful Feedback
Providing constructive, developmental feedback to your employees is important so they know how they are doing, what they can improve on, and how to stretch further. Encourage them to seek feedback from you, and also make it safe for them to give feedback to you. Giving feedback effectively requires skills in both questioning and listening. It is simultaneously an art and a skill, and certainly worth investing the time to learn!
#12 Employ Democratic Leadership Styles
Times have changed, and the conventional autocratic leadership style, where enforcing ideas and work was common is no longer effective. If you pause for a moment you can probably remember being treated this way by a manager, and what it felt like. Thankfully leadership has evolved, and today’s most effective leaders prefer to employ a democratic leadership style that encourages engagement between management and the team and increases team motivation productivity.
#13 Individual and Team Recognition
Recognition for a job well done is not about giving huge incentives – actually small acts of appreciating a job well done are met with appreciation in turn. A personal note, a small gift or lunch for the team goes a long way towards improving confidence and motivation. Remember to acknowledge individuals when somebody goes the extra mile, and also to recognize the entire team for a goal achieved – the fact is nobody excels in isolation.
#14 Conflict Management
Ensuring that team conflict is a generative and productive process is important to effective team management. Destructive conflict is identified by personal attacks and taking sides. Constructive conflict is a robust discussion in which all viewpoints are considered, debated, and a decision made. Even though not everyone may necessarily agree with the decision, they do agree to support it. The issue is the focus of the discussion, without judgement of any person or group. The decision is the best way forward to support the team’s purpose and goals. Developing a team culture which encourages constructive conflict is energizing for team members and opens the door for innovative solutions. On the other hand, destructive conflict gets in the way of achieving results and demoralizes team members – and their stakeholders. Help your team embed constructive conflict into their culture.
#15 Skills Management
Get to know your workforce and how to handle different personality types successfully. This ties in with knowing your employees well enough to assign the right task to the right person.
A single person can’t manage each and everything – no matter how good they are at their job. You’ll only end up sub-optimizing the entire team if you overload one person. The key is to find the right people for the tasks required since every team member has different capabilities. It’s also important to consistently be developing your team members and ensuring they are growing in their roles.
Following these team management skills will not only help make you a more effective leader, and besides having a happy, productive team that is recognized by its stakeholders for the results they deliver, your stress levels will be significantly less. All of which helps you stand out in the race for further development yourself and advanced leadership positions!
Join Teams & Beyond to meet more leaders just like you who are focused on consistently improving the effectiveness of their leadership and management skills and the results they enjoy. Get in touch to learn more today!
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