How Can I Help My Team Be More Effective?
Today our question comes from Melanie. Her question was awesome she asked simply “How do you lead a group to become a successful, effective team?”
Firstly Melanie, kudos to you for understanding that every group is not a team. We make this mistake a lot, it happens at work every day. We toss a few people in a room and we mistakenly think we have a team. It really doesn't work that way. Melanie, in order to lead a successful effective team what you really have to do you got to be a credible leader that your team can trust. You have to be the kind of person that they want to run through brick walls or walk over hot coals for. You’ve got to become the kind of leader that engenders that kind of trust that's going to be necessary to be an effective team.
In my work coaching executives and leaders and in my personal experience I've seen the effect trust has on teams. Teams that trust their leader work harder, pull together, and hit targets. Teams that don't trust their leader fragment, splinter, and implode.
To lead a successful effective team you have be a credible leader, one that your team can trust.
1. Your Word Must Mean Something
Without trust, your team can't perform. Just that simple when they do trust their leaders they have a greater chance of performing. So let's look at three ways you can become a more credible leader, the first thing is walk the talk. Your word is your bond, if you say it you have to back it up. You can't be the kind of leader that says one thing to one group and gives a completely different message later on. If you constantly change your messaging and contradict yourself, it's going to undermine your ability to lead and their desire to follow.
People have to believe that when you say it you mean. If you say it you’ll do it. What does it mean is it doesn't mean you'll never make mistakes it doesn’t mean you’ll never have to walk back some of what you just said because you overstated it or things change because strategic priorities change. No, what it says is in general you're the kind of person that can be trusted to say what they mean and mean what they say.
2. No Favorites
We have people that we naturally gravitate towards and there are people that we do not gravitate towards. It's easy to spend more time with the people that you like and less time with the people you don't like but as a leader you no longer have that luxury. You have to treat everybody the exactly the same.
You got to be the person who can walk in the room and treat the person that you don't get along with exactly the same as the person you do get along with. As a leader you don't have the luxury of holding grudges you don't have the luxury of staying mad at people, you have to get the job done and you have to get the job done through your team. So that’s the second thing I’ll tell you.
3. Up the Accountability
Up the accountability, and now when I talk about accountability I'm not talking about waiting until things go south and then assigning blame. I’m talking about giving your team everything they need to succeed. I'm talking about asking questions before things go south.
I'm talking about following up before things break. I'm talking about ensuring success from the start the vs. trying to clean up messes. So you've got to ask tough questions like “What happened? And how can we help you?”
If people can blow deadlines and show up without the deliverables and without being asked about it, you create a dysfunctional team culture. It might be perceived as favoritism and we can't have that (see point 2).
Until next time make today count.
1. You can't help your team if they don't trust you, so be trustworthy.