How to Become a More Effective Team Leader

effective team leader

Written By Andrew Makar

Professional Cat Herder and an Agile Enthusiast with a keen interest in putting PM theory into actual practice.

Good effective leadership will influence a team’s efficiency. This is because a strong leader keeps their team on track with their objectives, guiding them closer to their goal. One way a leader does this is by assigning whom they believe is best suited for each task.

However, many leaders feel like they could do better. A leadership survey sent out to 2,800 business leaders found that barely half of them believe that they are “well-equipped to lead their organization into the future.” And because of the pandemic, these shortcomings have only become more apparent. Leaders are expected to step up despite challenging times, placing more pressure on them. If they are unable to deliver, it puts them in a bad light.

That said, here are ways to become a more effective team leader:

Get to know your team members

Leadership is about motivating people to work towards a common goal. However, you will find it hard to motivate people you don’t know well. If you only now your team through in-person or Zoom meetings, you won’t know how each individual works best.

To get to know them, hold regular meet-ups to talk to each other about interests, and their personal life. Through these meet-ups, you’ll be able to gather knowledge about each of their personalities. Marla Tabaka writing for INC, highlighted the importance of such meetings: “Not everyone opens up easily, so introducing fun and creative activities is a great way to inspire your team members to share a few in-depth details about themselves”. For example, one team member may reveal that they have a visual learning style. Since you’re made aware of this, you can use it to help them in the future. This will also improve the level of trust and comradeship between yourself and your team members, which will lead to better collaboration within the team.

Communicate regularly with your team

As a leader, you must let your team know of your expectations. When they are aware of this, they can modify the way they work to meet the goals you’ve set.

A recent study found that good and direct communication increases leadership effectiveness because teams are able to perform more strategically when there is a climate of information sharing. To be an effective leader, communicate regularly with your team. At the start of the workweek, inform them of the week’s goals and what you expect from each one of them. This way, you become an effective leader by giving them a clear idea of their responsibilities.

Invest time in developing your members

Taking a genuine interest in your members’ growth shows your commitment to being a leader. After all, you’re not only there to give orders while they do all the work. As you help them develop, they will know that you also have their best intentions in mind, alongside meeting company targets.

When you notice a member experiencing difficulty, take some time to guide them through it. Ask them what they find difficult to achieve and provide them with tips to overcome their challenges. When you do this, you contribute to their career improvement. As a result, they will learn to trust you and your leadership abilities, making you an effective leader.

Practice what you preach

Leading by example has been proven to be effective in encouraging a team to work towards a common goal. This is because seeing a leader contribute to achieving their goal makes a team want to do the same as well.

When you ask your team members to do something, make sure you do it too. For example, if you tell them to get all their task done within the day, ensure that you also finish your own work. This encourages them to do the same because they look to you for inspiration. Through leading by example you will also increase the transparency between management and team members.

Effective leadership will bring a team toward its goals. As such, follow the above points to become a more effective leader in order to lead your team to its success.

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