10 Golden Rules for Leading Teams Effectively

1. Master Management Skills

Leadership skills are one level higher than management skills, although these are a prerequisite and can’t be overlooked.

Such skills include; planning, identifying scope of the work and distributing tasks to teams, assigning precise time or times frames for tasks, recognizing and coaching teams on how to reach predefined quality standards and managing costs effectively, a proper understanding of contract management, hiring and firing skills, problem solving, decision making, appraising people, knowing how to utilize various communication channels and integration skills.


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2. Work on Your Stress Zones

Practice minimizing your stress zones caused by different or relatively ‘annoying’ personality types which don’t match yours as follows:

Work on Your Stress Zones

Work on Your Stress ZonesWork on Your Stress Zones

3.  Practice Self Mastery

  • Acknowledge your values: your professional code of conduct and personal beliefs that drive you and shape your identity.
  • Recognize your comfort zone: what is your personality type, mood preferences, learning style
  • Maintain a quiet calm state of mind: for example use visualization and positive affirmations.

The Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator is a great tool to help you identify your personality type, strengths and preferences. People are identified as having one of 16 personality types.   Even without taking the formal questionnaire, you can probably immediately recognize some of these tendencies in yourself including likes, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses, possible career preferences, compatibility with other people and how you can influence or be influenced by them.

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

     1. Orientation of Energy:

Extravert (E): PeopleIntrovert (I): concepts/ideas
Outgoing

Relaxed & Confident

Communicates often

Speaks to think

Likes going outdoors

Action Oriented

Energized when with others

Impatient with long tasks: do – think – do.

Reserved

Reflective & Questioning

Reluctant to communicate

Thinks to speak

Like to stay indoors

Quiet & concentrates

Energized when alone

Adapts long uninterrupted tasks: think – do – think.

     2. Mode of Perception & Gathering Information

Sensing (S)Intuition (N)
Focuses on facts, details, reality, practical

Thinks in a concrete way: Here  and now

Works steadily

Uses data without interpretation

Rarely trusts inspiration: good or bad

Uses language as a tool

Contemplates patterns, big Picture, meaning

Abstract : Possibilities

Works in bursts of energy with slack periods in between

Leaps over data & jumps to conclusion

Trusts inspiration: good or bad

Uses language to express

    3. Decision Making & Judgment

Thinking (T)Feeling (F)
Uses logic, things, truth, clarity

Problem first, people second

Objective

Treats others fairly

Likes analysis, putting things in order

Able to reprimand and fire people when necessary

Reverts to values, needs, tact, harmony

People first, problem second

Subjective

Treats others the way the need to be treated

Likes harmony & efficiency ; disturbed by office feuds

Doesn’t like to reprimand people

   4.Orientation to outer world:

Judging (J)Perceiving (P)
Decisive, planner, Self- disciplined

Quick to closure

Makes decisions quickly

Likes to plan work

May dislike interruptions when doing a task

Curious, spontaneous, flexible

Open ended

Postpones decisions

Good at adapting to changing situations

May start too many tasks and leave them open

What's your personality type?

myers brigg personality types for celebrities

4. Understand the Team Dynamics

  • Understand Organizational culture
  • Make yourself aware of the existing challenges and limitations
  • Know how people use language
  • Understand the zones of power
  • Fit in and help people fit in the big picture.

5. Be Fully Aware of Challenges and Limitations

To do this try to always be available:

-In team and management meetings

-Customer feedback seminars

-At the clients help desk/call center (to solicit feedback)

-In tender meetings

-In public events by competition

-At public events for complementary businesses

Team leadership tips

6. Communicate, Communicate and Communicate Again

Keep in touch with key people who influence your teams’ progress on a daily basis.  Be aware of budding areas of conflict and invite your team to open discussions and candid meetings periodically (at least once a month). Use coffee breaks to move around and mingle with your team to tune into the general mood, as well as their ideas and opinions.

Use body language to articulate your messages as 55% of communication is conveyed by it:

Avoid motions like eye rolling which demonstrates disrespect, make sure your facial expressions and hand gestures reflect what you’re saying.  Face  people with your entire body while addressing them,  allow only one person to speak and be attentively heard at a time.

Use ‘clean language’ which is free of any negative or sarcastic connotations.  Avoid words with a double meaning.  Always make sure your message is understood and that you understand other people’s messages as well.  Use written communication in case of complex problems if separated by distance.

7. Define Success

Teams will expect to understand what is considered a success through communicating with you, as their leader.

Tools that will help teams include:

üScope plans; which include time, cost, quality targets

üHuman resources being involved

üAction Plans & Periodic Meetings

Progressive Elaboration:

Any plan for the particular and designated project will be  continuously and constantly modified, detailed, and improved into new, more improved and more detailed versions.  Leaders and teams need to be flexible enough to recognize and accommodate this development.

8. Justify Who Does What

Remind them of this

Use persuasion rather than positional power to make them believe in their purpose by thinking win-win

Assign roles, share and discuss job descriptions

When you believe in team work you effectively lead teams. Express, through both your words and actions, that you appreciate the role each member plays in achieving organizational goals.

9. Prioritize and Teach Your Team

A disorganized leader isn’t leading, he’s chasing his own tail.

Disorganization breeds ever increasing chaos. If you’re frazzled and messy, your team will be too. When you’re organized you’ll be much more productive and so will everyone else.

  • Meet with your team on weekly basis to discuss annual, monthly and weekly priorities.  Share a written a plan and updates with relevant teams.
  • Set a realistic deadline to each task.  Make sure that the task holders are  involved in this.  Make sure things get done on time, if not, check why, take corrective action until you are sure that tasks are done done on time.
  • Ask teams to keep their desks and offices organized.  Assign a special time to get rid of unneeded documents, maybe a couple of hours every quarter.
  • Coach your followers to multi-task and still get tasks done on time.

When you sit with your team you need to define the category of tasks in progress and how each category needs to be handled:

Proper HandlingTask Category
These are the top priority: Members need to do these tasks themselves and can’t delegate.Important and Urgent
These come second in priority; some tasks here can be delegatedImportant and Not Urgent
Should take third priority; these should be delegatedUrgent and Not Important
Either delegated or eliminatedNeither Urgent nor Important

10. Foster Ethics and Values

When responsible for a team of people, it’s important to raise the bar even higher. Your business and employees are a reflection of yourself, and if you make honest and ethical behavior a key value, your team will follow suit. So, set Ground Rules and develop core values of the organization to take it to the next level.

A few examples of codes of conduct used in great organizations like the Gates Foundation and Ritz Carlton:

“We place the customer experience at the core of what we do”

“We are committed to our people”

“We operate our business ethically”

“We strive to continuously improve”

“We are responsible for adhering to policies and will use good judgment to safeguard the foundation’s assets and reputation”

Good leaders always  promote their businesses’ professional code of ethics and use it to resolve conflict and you should do the same.

Having team values pinned to bulletin boards in all  departments, meeting rooms, offices and cubicles etc. will remind your team of the values they owe to one another and are owed.


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