How To Choose The Right Team And Be A Team Leader
The ability to be a good team player is highly valued by employers and is helpful during their studies. However, it is even more beneficial to be a team leader, to be a key team player who is able to put together his team and then lead it.
In that case, it doesn’t matter if your team’s goal is to create a school project or design a new product for your business. The business manager is not a team leader. The basic team principles are the same and therefore the following recommendations are generally applicable:
1. Take care when choosing team members
According to many, the composition of the team is one of the most important factors determining the final success or failure of your team. Although it may seem at first glance that it works best with people you know well and have friendly relationships with, it’s not always the case.
Belbin argues that when creating teams, it is necessary to analyze the personality traits of each potential candidate and assign them a specific team role. For this reason, it is sometimes more appropriate to take a less popular candidate to the team who has the necessary role than a friend.
2. Create an atmosphere of psychological security in your team
Many teams and their leaders often focus only on failing and trying to achieve acceptable results by playing it safe. But if you want your team to be really the best and achieve excellent results, its members must be willing to take risks.
Google is also aware of this fact and that is why, after an intensive analysis of internal teamwork, it has defined psychological safety as the most important prerequisite for the success of its teams. After all, how would it be possible for a team to reach its full potential if its members were ashamed to present their ideas to others? Open communication without barriers promotes synergy within the team and contributes to better performance.
The leader is responsible for creating an atmosphere in his team in which members feel absolutely safe and know that they will not be alienated or disadvantaged for their ideas and opinions. Thanks to other members, the most daring and risky ideas can be transformed into real solutions and results.
The atmosphere of psychological security includes the certainty that members can rely on each other to perform individual tasks.
3. Encourage constructive feedback in your team
In a team where members are not afraid or ashamed to express ideas and thoughts, it is also necessary to promote continuous and constructive feedback. Some team members may tend to withhold feedback because they are afraid of harming or insulting their teammates. The leader’s job is to explain to them the importance of feedback.
Honest, constructive, and ongoing feedback helps individual members identify areas for improvement and benefits the team as a whole. At the same time, the leader supports his team to provide feedback on the leadership and functioning of the team as a whole and analyzes and applies the information obtained to the team’s processes.
4. Ensure that goals, tasks, rules, and plans are always clear to the whole team
One of the most common team mistakes is to embark on the required task immediately and headlessly, without the team first defining the basic starting points together. If the team makes this mistake, it is up to the leader to correct it.
Although the initial definition of starting points may seem like a waste of time, the opposite is true. Defining team goals, rules, and plans properly, along with the roles, competencies, and responsibilities of individual members, in the long run, will save time and increase the efficiency of your team.
5. Convince your team that your work together is important to them
Ideally, a leader always leads a team full of capable members who are passionate about the team and willing to use their full potential within the team. In real terms, this is not necessary and the team sometimes includes members who have been forced to join the team and do not see the point in teamwork.
In such a case, it is up to the leader to find and motivate the mentioned members. One of the ways to motivate them is to highlight the team’s results and especially the specific importance and impact of the team’s success for the individual. At the same time, it is appropriate to emphasize that the work of the team matters and has specific impacts.