September 9, 2016

Keep It Simple And Bring Out the Best In Your Team


Being a leader takes a great amount of skill, certain personality traits, and a lot of time, patience, and dedication. This applies to any sort of leader-team scenario, but even moreso in something as ever-present as the workplace.

Being at the top, you’ll already be aware that being a leader is much, much more than just bossing your team around and telling them what to do. You’ve got to have a genuine passion for your work and your team, you’ve got to be level-headed, and you’ve got to show that you’re human – on top of all the necessary leadership skills.

You’ve also got to be willing to do your utmost to ensure that your team are working to the best of their ability; be it that you provide various means of training, reward them for hard work, or that you’re willing to go the extra mile by looking at – and utilizing - strengths and weaknesses.

Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses. Even the most successful business people in the world will have certain areas in which they don’t perform as well in as others. Thusly, each member of your team will have their own strengths and weaknesses too. They could be anything from being compassionate, to having good conflict resolution skills, to not being able to self-motivate, to not having much confidence...

Whatever your employee’s strengths and weaknesses are, it’s important to establish them, and to then utilize them in the everyday running of your business in a way that boosts efficiency, productivity, and team morale; here’s how:

Get discovering

One of the first steps towards building a stronger team is to discover each individual’s strengths and weaknesses.

There are various strengths assessments that your employees can take part in – think of things such as online strengths tests and gain results of which you can use to begin strengthening your team as one entity.

However, it may not be that easy. Many people don’t like to admit or take credit for their strengths at fear of looking big-headed, or they simply aren’t sure what can class as a strength or not, which is where opportunities such as strengths coaching may come into play.

It’s also a good idea to remind your team of all of the things that can count as strengths. It could be anything from being kind, to being a good problem solver to showing good leadership strengths, to being skilled with a computer...the list goes on.

Once you have a rough idea of your team’s star qualities, you’ll be optimising your strengths in no time at all.

Keep it positive

It’s a well-known fact that a negative attitude rarely gets you anywhere in life, especially with things such as work. Various scientific studies – too many to list individually – have shown that people perform tasks much more quickly/ much better when given positive reinforcement, as opposed to when given criticism.

Exactly the same principle applies when it comes to establishing your team’s strengths, and then utilising them in the most efficient way possible.

Aim to focus on your team's strengths instead of their weaknesses. We aren’t saying ignore weaknesses completely, but the way in which you accept and deal with them is what determines if you’re a good leader or not.

A good idea – once an employee has discovered their ‘weaknesses’- is to then delegate work accordingly.
For example, if employee A is good at computer work, but isn’t great at maths, and employee B excels in maths, but isn’t too clued up with a computer, you would allow employee B to take care of any of employee A’s accounts, whilst employee A would then, in turn, get around the fixing employee B’s computer problem.

This way, your team is being as efficient as possible by not losing time due to individuals struggling with the work they are being given.

Remember; very, very few people work well under large amounts of pressure. Inflicting a high-pressure situation on your team is already enough to say that you’ve failed as a leader – so always aim to keep things positive and inspirational for your team.

A final few tips and tricks

Workers also like to feel as though they can relate to their employer and can view them as another human being with thoughts and emotions, as opposed to just their boss.

With this in mind, it’s important that you share both your weaknesses and strengths when discussing those of your team’s. If you’re going to honest and open about your capabilities, your team members will subconsciously adopt the same attitude. If you’re struggling to do so, you may be in need of some leadership strengths development; the ideal way to developing your strengths whilst your employees do the same.

As well, always aim to praise your team’s effort in their work, not their ability – remember that it’s much harder to put in the effort to achieve results than it is to simply employ existing talent.

Finally, offer support throughout the entire team-building process, and beyond. Ensuring that your team know that you’re there to support them throughout their careers is one of the most crucial parts of building a strong, efficient, and positive team – so don’t forget it.

Strengthscope provide the world’s most innovative strengths assessments, tests and profiling systems aimed to help improve work productivity, team compatibility and leadership development. If you wish to find out more about the ways in which you can bring out the best in your team take a look at the range of Strengthscope strengths assessments online.

More from Vistage:

The 5 Dyfunctions of a Team- Jim Alampi

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