Every team needs a leader. Having the skills to become a team leader is important. Leaders give teams direction, motivation and support. Leading a team is about helping the collective group to achieve the company’s goals, as well as enabling individuals to reach their own professional goals too.
A team without a strong and empathetic leader is a team that isn’t harmonious. This is because without good communication between all members of a team, tensions can easily grow. A leader is someone whose responsibility it is to smooth over these kinds of tensions and prevent misunderstandings.
Communication is a massively important skill that you will need to work on if you are going to become a team leader. You need to have excellent written communication skills and understand how your non-verbal behaviours such as body language and eye contact can affect the meaning of what you say.
As well as talking, you need to show people that you are actively listening to what they have to say. Similarly, you need to be able to communicate with different people in ways that are most suitable for them individually. Good communication is about tailoring your approach to each different person and circumstance, whilst remaining open to feedback from others.
Motivation and positivity
Your team needs to be able to look to you for inspiration and motivation on a daily basis. When group morale is low, providing a motivation boost is particularly important. A good team leader shouldn’t wait for morale to decrease before taking action. Having a positive attitude encourages communication, because when people are happy and comfortable, they are more open with each other.
As a team leader, you need to be comfortable with being held accountable for the work, decisions and outcomes of your team. The RACI acronym stands for responsible, accountable, consulted and informed and it’s used a matrix will al the decision-making process as well as a description of participation of all roles in completing tasks or deliverables for a project or business process. If this matrix is not implemented in your organisation yet, take initiative and implement it.
As a team leader, you set your teams responsibilities and tasks, but as their manager, you are accountable for the team's results.
Being a creative team leader is being able to think on your feet and think outside the box. A creative thinker involves being able to consider unconventional strategies, taking risks, and offering up new perspectives. This kind of thinking adds great value to a team by enabling everyone to adjust the way they approach tasks. In other words, creativity brings innovation.
If you are creative with your own ideas, it will encourage your team to broaden their horizons too, and consider new possibilities that they didn’t realise were available to them before.
If you are going to lead a team, you need to make sure that you are a trustworthy leader. Honesty is the best policy. Honesty and integrity are what will gain you the trust of your employees, and that’s priceless for a newly establishing leader.
If your team trusts you, it will promote trustworthiness within the team, which in turn will mean that your colleagues are more likely to trust each other too.