Tips on Leading a Team
In business, there will be many occasions when employees will have to work in teams in order to complete projects. Every person in a team brings a specialized skill or expertise to help see the project through to completion. When people work together, they will either have a good experience or a bad experience. Good experiences will usually lead to a successful project, while bad experiences that lead to a successful project may also complicate future teamwork.
Being able to work in a team is an essential job function of any employee. When in a team, leaders must learn to be assertive; but not be rude, they must be able to debate issues concerning the project; but not get upset if the team has other opinions, and most of all, everyone in the team must respect how different people work and how they view a project.
Leading a team requires patience and the ability to delegate responsibility. It is important to realize the skills of each person in the group and assign parts of the project to those who have knowledge in a particular area. Leading a team also means moderating debate and acknowledging different opinions. Without proper leadership skills, the team will probably not function to the best of its abilities and the project may suffer.
Tips on how to build a permanent team
In many circumstances, teams may work on a few projects each year. The people in the team may move to other teams, but for the most part, the team will not change. Building a permanent team requires several skills in addition to having knowledge about all areas of the project that will be assigned to team members. Leading a team is not easy, but with practice, leaders can get a lot of work from individual team members.
It is important that team leaders be excellent listeners. Team leaders should meet with teams together and individually to figure out who will be best suited for different areas of the project. It is important to make these decisions based on what a team member has produced in the past, other projects they have worked on, and the kind of worker they are. Giving a piece of a project that needs to be done quickly to a team member who is meticulous and who works slowly is not the best choice. Match assignments up with employees who can meet deadlines and achieve accuracy in their work.
After beginning a project, the team leader should monitor the progress of each team member and how they interact with other team members. It is important to make sure that all team members are happy and are being productive. If a team member is constantly dominating the conversation, the team leader should ask for other opinions. If a team member does not say much, the team leader should ask for their opinion. This way, everyone in the team can feel included.
Eventually, in permanent teams, everyone will adapt to each others way of doing things. But in the beginning, establishing ground rules is a good way to make sure everyone gets a chance to speak during meetings.
Tips on how to build a temporary team
The same tips apply to temporary teams as they do for permanent ones. The difference is usually that temporary teams are established to solve a problem or issue that is immediate. These teams are usually under time or other constraints that are forcing them to find answers to the problem as quickly as possible. Leading on of these teams can be stressful, but by laying out a plan and assigning specific job duties, the project should yield positive results.
Leading a team is a rewarding experience. Being observant and respecting that team members have other job duties will help create an environment that is positive and productive.