There may not be an “I” in team, but if we fail to recognize the parts that make up the whole, we have missed the point as business leaders.
There are essential skills one must posses if they want to be a true team leader. In order to bring order to the team, the use of the skills and the correct use of them will make or break the team. Without them, the team is only a mixture of individuals retaining their “I” status and consequently working against one another. A great leader must always be mindful that the team is made up of individual parts, like the puzzle pieces. You can have a 5,000 piece puzzle but if one piece is not cut right or is missing, the entire picture is lost.
I encourage you to make a list of the attributes YOU believe are important to be a leader. Creating your own list forces you to identify and define qualities of leadership in others as well as yourself. I offer a few here for your consideration.
- Listening: The ability to listen is important but the skill of listening involves the act of hearing without feeling the need to form your response while listening. That only distracts you and usually puts the listener immediately on the defensive. Listen to ideas, concerns, and their thoughts – ask questions for clarification when appropriate, which tells the speaker you are serious about what they are saying. Watch your body language when listening, not to close off or build a wall between you and the speaker. Be receptive.
- Reliability: Always focus on gaining the trust of fellow team members (and beyond, of course!). Loyalties can drop faster than you can blink. Prevent that by being the one on the team who is reliable.
Conflict Management: With any conflict, our human nature is to fight or flee. When we take the time to resolve conflict constructively, the conflict can increase our ability to see the conflict through the eye’s of the other person. The keys are to try to stay neutral (you don’t always have to be right), acknowledge the problem, focus on the PROBLEM, not the PEOPLE, seek common ground and be patient. At ORCVirtual, we prefer to say we have an ‘opportunity’ not a conflict or problem. It is an opportunity to learn a new perspective and to improve ourselves.
- Acknowledge Greatness: Employee recognition can be a hot button. In this current culture, it seems we award people for every thing. Rewards should not be given just for the sake of giving. They should not be given just to even the playing field. Rewards are earned but keep an eye open for when they need to be recognized. Offering praise takes very little effort but we all like to feel good and appreciated. Give praise where it is due, uplift your team members, empower and equip them – and make sure that everyone knows their value. ‘All persons deserve to be treated as people of worth’.
- Acknowledge Your Weakness: A great leader will admit their mistakes. A great leader will name their weaknesses and have no problem pointing them out when appropriate. Having the ability to say, “yeah, that’s not my strength” is empowering to ourselves as well as others. It helps people around us understand that they are needed.
There is an old Sunday school song called, “A Place in the Choir”. It’s worth a listen to regardless of your religious viewpoint. It reminds us that everyone DOES have a role. Check out this fun video from Damian McGinty https://youtu.be/-iP27eatYxE
And remember – your place is important no matter what your role is.