If you’re responsible for leading a team within your organisation, then you’ve probably already asked yourself, “How can I be more effective?” Here are some steps to take to help you overcome the challenges new team leaders face and become the leader of a productive, successful team:
Have a clear perspective on your strengths and areas for improvement
No one can be good at everything, and sometimes people dilute their strengths by directing too much effort into areas for improvement. Instead, focus on the strengths you know you can foster for even more effective leadership.
Model yourself on those you see as competent in certain areas you want develop in
Identifying in others the leadership qualities that you want to develop is important for growth. It is just as important to understand that sometimes you may not like everything about how that person operates. However, there may be areas in their style that you can take specific learnings from.
“Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes”
More specifically, walk that mile in the shoes of those you are leading. To lead others effectively you need to view situations not only from your personal perspective, but theirs too. Most workplace conflict comes from a misunderstanding of the other person’s view of a given situation.
Take a firm stance early on
Often, new team leaders try to be a ‘friend’ too much, assuming this will earn them respect. But this often isn’t the case. There can also be real issues in the long run if you are too lenient early on in your leadership role, but then become much firmer later. Instead, take a firm approach first and then become more relaxed and lenient with your team as they develop.
Talk to other team leaders
It’s important to have a network of people in a similar role. The most effective form of learning is on the job, so sharing experiences about day-to-day situations with others in similar roles can have serious benefits in learning, self-confidence, problem-solving and conflict resolution.
Work on your relationship with your line manager
Your line manager will have the greatest influence on your ability to carry out your duties effectively. Firstly, try to gain their respect by doing the simple tasks defined within your role well. Build a trust that will then enable them to delegate more to you and trust you with more responsibility, hence increasing your development and capabilities at the same time.
Have a formal plan for your personal development
Your ongoing development as a manager and leader is important and can include both technical (system, process, product etc.) and leadership development needs (assertiveness, conflict resolution, communication etc.). Make sure this is a long-term plan that prepares you for both your current role and also desired future roles.
If 7 steps to becoming an effective team leader inspired you, then you must see this. Our webinar “The guide to success as a new team leader” will teach you how to effectively manage and develop your team for success as a newly-appointed leader.
EEF's training course provides essential team leadership skills to those who are newly promoted to the role.
Find out more