Managing a team is not an easy feat. People aren’t plug and play templates—there’s no formula for the best way to do it. The best managers lead with empathy and kindness, communicate clearly, and empower their team members.
As a team leader, it’s your job to inspire people and help them reach their goals and their potential. Read on to learn how to improve your team management skills and reach success together.
- Lead with Empathy
In Gary Vaynerchuk’s book, Twelve and a Half, he talks about how empathy is a central part of how he operates. When you leverage empathy, he argues, it “makes you a better business person, CEO, manager, or leader.” To motivate your team, you need to understand them, and to understand them, you need to lead with empathy.
If someone on your team makes a mistake, instilling fear in them and being angry with them immediately can lead to more mistakes. They lose the ability to learn from their failures and will approach future challenges with trepidation, not from a problem-solving perspective.
Instead, take the time to understand what happened and where they were coming from. As a business owner, you’re ultimately accountable for anything that happens under your watch, so understanding your team can help you to better understand how to guide them to better outcomes.
- Clearly Communicate Goals and Expectations
Effective communication includes clearly communicating things like deadlines, tasks, and deliverables. When your employees know exactly what’s expected of them, they have a better chance of success. The goal for you is to set them up for that success.
Don’t assume that someone knows what their role entails. You may have a different picture in your mind than they do of what needs to be done. To avoid any confusion, write out a clear job description, but here’s the trick—check in regularly and continue to communicate what your expectations of them are. Have an ongoing process to reassess performance and make sure you’re both aligned. Once you can clearly communicate these goals, it’ll lead to the next tip, which is to provide honest feedback.
- Provide Honest Feedback
Providing feedback, especially negative feedback, is not an easy task for any manager or business owner. But it’s much more beneficial to both you and your team member for you to provide honest feedback that’s delivered with kindness, than to dance around the subject and leave room for misinterpretation.
If an employee isn’t performing their duties or achieving the goals you’ve set together, they deserve to know! Be specific in your feedback and in how they can improve. The biggest thing to keep in mind, as well, is to offer your support. As their manager, it’s not your job to set it and forget it—as much as your team’s successes are your own, so are their failures, and it’s up to you to change things up if something’s not working.
- Be Transparent About When You Need Your Team’s Support
Leading a team doesn’t mean you don’t need support as well. The most successful managers and business owners lead with humility and self-awareness. They understand where their weaknesses are and how to delegate where others are strong.
Transparency is a strength. It makes you a better leader and allows for your team to trust in you more. Being transparent promotes creativity, teamwork, and loyalty. Oftentimes when you are willing to be vulnerable and open up to your team, they will feel safe enough to open up to you as well.
Additionally, when you are transparent about any challenges you’re facing, it can encourage collaboration as your team works with you to figure out solutions together. It will strengthen your team’s trust in you and lead to higher levels of performance.
- Create a Framework for Growth
Having a well-defined framework for growth helps set expectations both for your employees and for yourself. When you have regular check-ins, such as quarterly or monthly check-ins, your team will know what to expect and what goals they need to hit.
What does your review process look like? Do you have annual reviews or bi-annual reviews? Documenting these check-ins and reviews helps you to look back on the progress of each team member and see if they’re getting the support they need from you to reach their goals.
Create a performance review template that includes a self-assessment and feedback from other team members. The review should be a conversation, not a confrontation. There should be a section to revisit goals from the last review and a conversation around the status of those goals, as well as a section for goals for the upcoming year.
When you put effort into creating this framework, your team will have more confidence in you and trust that you care about their growth and helping them reach their own personal and professional goals.
- Trust and Empower Your Team Members
As a business owner, you may find yourself taking on a lot of responsibilities yourself. It’s hard to trust others to care about your business the way that you do. But the role of a team leader is to figure out how to motivate your employees and empower them to partner with you to make your company successful.
Learn how to delegate tasks and trust your employees to get the job done. Continue to communicate with and check in with them to stay in the loop, but don’t micromanage them. Trust in yourself that you’ve hired a competent team and give them the freedom to approach tasks their way.
Managing a team is not easy, but it can be incredibly rewarding. If you don’t have a system for feedback already in place, now’s the time to create one! Most importantly, remember that when you lead with empathy and provide a framework for growth, you will build a team that is motivated to work with you and grow your business alongside you.
Many simple and effective resources get created when I’m coaching my one-on-one clients. An issue or situation comes up and I create a resource tool to help them get an even better result. In this example, my business owner coaching client wanted to better hold his support team accountable, so I created a performance assessment tool. This enhances regular communication with each team member about their specific performance of what they are responsible for (whether internal or virtual). It lets the team member feel good about their progress and it helps the business owner feel more confident about what is being done and at what level of performance. You will benefit, just as my clients have, from utilizing this simple and effective performance assessment for every member of your team. Customize it for each person on your team based on their job description. More specifically, each team member should customize it for themselves, and you approve it. Schedule a meeting every 90 days to review progress in each area you are measuring.
To download my complimentary support team performance assessment, so you can customize it for each of your team members, go to: https://www.accountabilitycoach.com/support-team-member-progress-assessment/. It is a great communication tool.
To help you be even more effective and efficient, so you can achieve your goals at an accelerated rate, you can delegate more to your team members than you have or might think possible. Stop holding on to things that can be done by someone else and do only those activities that you can do and can’t be done by anyone else. Stop doing revenue generation / business development avoidance activities and delegate more! Successful business owners are excellent delegators, so work at being an even better delegator and be even more successful. Download my Free Delegation Exercise to help you identify more activities to delegate, by going to https://www.accountabilitycoach.com/delegation-list-sample/.
For more help on managing your team to create your ideal business and ideal life, reach out to me today and schedule your complimentary consultation.
Do you feel like your business has plateaued or you are sick and tired of being sick and tired? Could you use a shot in the arm to make even more progress on your goals? Consider working with The Accountability Coach. I’m here to help you accelerate your results, so you can enjoy your ideal business and ideal life!
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