Leaders–ask not what your team can do for you, ask what you can do for your team! If you want to lead a high-functioning, high-performing team, it is imperative that you focus less on giving orders and more on giving your team the support they need.
So, what exactly does your team need from you in order to realize their full potential and deliver their best? They need a lot, but following are some of the most important things that you can give to your team:
Direction – give your team a sense of where you are taking them and what the team is trying to achieve. What is the vision? What are the long-term goals? There needs to be a destination that inspires passion and purpose in your people–something worth pursuing. This is what ultimately motivates and inspires people. When is the last time you talked about the big picture?
Clarity – your team members should never be confused about their role or the priorities of the team. Confusion creates frustration, which can often lead to dissension. Your job as the leader is to head off any confusion by constantly creating clarity both for each individual member and the collective team. How often do you have clarifying conversations with your team?
Encouragement – something so simple as offering a word of affirmation or praise is often so rare in organizations and teams these days. Leaders can get too caught up in their daily work that they fail to encourage the people they lead. Don’t make this mistake–take time to encourage your people on a daily basis. Are you regularly offering words of affirmation and encouragement to your team members?
Feedback – in order for a team to function at its highest level, people need to know what they are doing well, as well as where they can improve. The best way for this to happen is through ongoing, regular feedback that occurs in the form of coaching. When you coach others, you are helping them realize their full potential. How often are you coaching your team members and providing them with constructive feedback?
Time – as a leader your “plate is always full,” but remember to keep your plate clean for people by giving them your time. We’re all very busy, but we should never be too busy for those that we lead. When you give people your time, they will give you their loyalty and devotion. This is how relationships and trust are built, and ultimately how great teams are developed. Are you making time in your schedule for people?
There are many other things that team members need from their leaders, but if you will focus on regularly providing your people with these five, you will create an environment that inspires, motivates, challenges, and uplifts your team. You will also have the respect and loyalty of your team–something that many leaders do not have because they simply do not take the time to ask what they can give to their team instead of what they can get from them.
What others things does a team need from its leader?