Effective Leaders Encourage Teamwork
Whether you are a team member or a team leader, teamwork begins with you. All members of a team need to take responsibility for working together towards a common, shared goal.
Leadership is essential to ensuring teamwork becomes embedded in the organization culture. As a result of the amount of influence a leader can have over their teams, it is their responsibility to do whatever is reasonable to create and promote teamwork.
For the team leader, there are seven important factors which lay the foundations for a strong, focused team:
1. Focus on the big picture
Leaders who focus on the big picture or long-term goals forge a more collaborative environment for their team. Team members know that they are trusted to take responsibility for their individual tasks, while the leader guides everyone towards the ultimate goal.
2. Encourage diversity of opinion
Leaders that attempt to stifle freedom of thought and free exchange of opinions are doomed to failure. When staff is encouraged to seek out different and better solutions, it encourages a collaborative trusting environment, which in turn increases productivity and acceptance of change.
3. Encourage personal responsibility
In order to be a truly collaborative team, all members have to take personal responsibility for their work. This is only possible, however, if leaders are bold enough to delegate and assign ownership of tasks in the first place.
4. Be trustworthy
As a leader, it is important to have your subordinates’ trust. In order to establish and maintain that trust, you must be responsive and deliver on your promises. If you tell your staff that you will do something by a particular date, you need to do as you say. The more often you fail to deliver, the less your staff will be able to trust you.
5. Be consistent
Make all decisions and introduce new rules only after careful consideration. If you make decisions on the fly, and later change or overrule those decisions, you will frustrate your team. Frustrated staff members do not work productively because they spend too much of their time trying to second-guess what their manager will do.
6. Reduce red tape
If you want all team members to work well together and be as productive as possible, reduce the roadblocks in your team’s path. No one likes unnecessary red tape, and your staff’s productivity will drop immeasurably if they have to deal with too much bureaucracy. Remember that roadblocks sap energy, demotivate, and undermine teams.
Listening is vital. If one of your team members wants to talk to you, you must treat the issues seriously and practice active listening skills. The more you listen, the more you will learn about your team and how its members can work together effectively. Talking makes you feel better, but listening solves problems.
These principles will help you to become a better leader, increase your influence with your team, and promote more effective teamwork.
Has anyone led you in your career? Do you think that person is/was a good leader?
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stifle 抑え込む 抑圧する
on the fly 急場しのぎで
overrule 覆す 却下する
second-guess 勘ぐる 先読みする
red tape 非効率な形式的手続き お役所仕事