Leaders come in different flavours. Some favour an aggressive, go-getting style while others advance the benefits of quiet diplomacy and being a good listener. Whatever your personal style, there are certain fundamental strategies that business consultants agree should be in your armoury for keeping your team motivated and focused on achieving the collective ambitions of the business.
Identify clear goals
Your team should be viewed as your unit, with a single, common and unifying purpose. Your role is to present a focused vision for clear goals that the team needs to deliver, drawing on individual strengths and regardless of any weaknesses that any team members might have. Achieving the goal is the primary group function. By making clear what that goal is, the team can unify and self-motivate, while helping each other to execute your vision. Your vision and your leadership in creating the waypoints to those goals is key to the team’s success.
Always be positive
From this it follows that your own personal positivity is a driver for success. Put aside personal doubts over any problems with individuals; group psychology is that if the team senses your lack of conviction in its ability to succeed, it will cause members to feel unsure. Losing focus and self-belief will make you much less likely to succeed. No one can predict the future, so if unforeseen problems jeopardise the outcome, don’t be afraid to adjust targets or deadlines in a way that shows you are still in control. This will maintain your team’s belief: commitment and confidence are key commodities.
Be sure to remain accessible at all times. Project the message that you are approachable about problems that might jeopardise a project’s success. If your team members are wary of approaching you, you’ll only learn about snags when it is too late to change course. Effective communication also adds to the sense that everyone’s input is valued – which, in turns, pay dividends in terms of group motivation and the team’s desire to get the job done. Adding to your value as an efficient leader who gets results.
Praise individuals and do it in front of colleagues. It is not just warm-hearted and hugely beneficial to those receiving the compliment but also raises team morale and motivation. Similarly, if you need to adjust or correct anyone’s performance, do so fairly and discreetly. You will be judged as a respectful leader and that in turn commands respect from the troops.