Taking the reins as a team leader for the first time can be a daunting task. After all, you have the pressure of knowing that several team members are counting on you to direct them. Leaders have a very important role in the success of an organization, and it’s their guidance and leadership that helps motivate employees to deliver their best performance. Though it may seem a bit complicated and overwhelming to oversee a team of workers and provide vision to them, the following tips can help you successfully transition to your new role as a team leader.
1. Get to Know Your Team
Leadership starts with taking a vested interest in your team members and establishing a rapport with them. If you want to influence your team and motivate them to work harder to achieve the company’s objectives, you must first get them to trust and respect you. This starts by getting to know your team members. Learn who they are, what they enjoy most about their job, what their personal and professional goals are, and even a little bit about their background and family. You want to learn about their strengths and weaknesses so you can give them tasks and responsibilities that are best suited for them. You also want to check in with them regularly to connect with them, gather ideas, and provide support and feedback.
2. Communicate Clearly and Often
No one wants to be left in the dark so it’s imperative that you communicate with your team on a regular basis. Open communication also strengthens the relationship you have with your team and fosters a culture where individuals feel comfortable sharing their ideas, thoughts, and concerns. Furthermore, regular communication ensures that everyone is on the same page and has a clear understanding of the project at hand.
3. Celebrate Achievements
Everyone loves a good pat on the back and this is a great way to improve morale. Recognize good performance and reward people for a job well done. Even simple rewards like verbal praise, a certificate, or a nice email go a long way in showing your team you recognize their hard work and are appreciative of their achievements.
As a new team leader, you might feel the pressure to get everything done perfectly but this doesn’t mean you have to do it all yourself. Your job is to be a leader, not to do other people’s jobs for them. Be clear about your expectations and then avoid micromanaging your team. Rather, take a step back and give them the independence to complete tasks on their own. Not only is this a more efficient way to get things done, but it instills confidence in your employees and sends the message that you trust them to do their job well.
5. Lead By Example
As the saying goes, “If you’re going to talk the talk you better be able to walk the walk.” If you want to have a team that arrives on time, completes tasks in a timely manner, dresses and acts professionally, and has a positive attitude, then you need to demonstrate these skills yourself. You need to walk alongside your team and set an example of what you expect. If you are gossipping, arriving late, or talking negatively about the company, your team will lose respect for you. You want to make sure your actions reflect your expectations for your team.