'How to lead a team?'
This is a burning question for team leads, especially first-time managers.
The ultimate purpose of team leads is to encourage and help their team deliver peak performance while nurturing their skills. They need to establish clear expectations and supervise their team to achieve business goals efficiently.
However, developing effective leadership skills requires considerable experience. To lead a team with zero experience can be thus daunting and overwhelming.
If you are a first-time manager, you should embark on your journey by understanding your role and responsibilities. Taking small yet thoughtful steps will help you develop essential leadership skills.
In this post, we will share the eight best tactics that will help you lead a team with zero experience.
Here's the comprehensive list of best tips and practices to help you lead a team successfully.
Helen Hayes once quoted -
"The expert at anything was once a beginner."
These words accurately describe the fact that one cannot earn expertise overnight. It takes determination, time, and hard work to sail through the process.
So, if you want your team to thrive, you need to be honest with your team. Don't conceal the fact that you lack leadership experience. Admitting experience limitations to your team will make them considerate of your situation. This will create a bond of understanding between you and your teammates.
Here are a few tips that'll help you overcome your experience limitations.
According to Gallup, managers that lead a team successfully have the following traits.
Out of these traits, confidence is the most pivotal.
The reason? A leader's confidence impacts their team's confidence.
While it's true that you lack experience, it doesn't mean you can't lead a team and make it big.
Don't let your experience impact your confidence.
Develop a constructive mindset to empower your team. Focus on improving your problem-solving skills and get involved with your team in the projects. Understand your teammates' strengths and weaknesses to gauge their potential, thereby delegating tasks to the right people.
Show your human side and stay honest about everything to be approachable. If you commit a mistake, accept it openly in front of everyone. This will make your teammates comfortable working with you.
The key is to lead by example. This will help you stay confident and increase your chances of achieving desired business outcomes.
An open-door policy signifies a set of protocols encouraging employees to discuss their queries, challenges, or suggestions with their senior-level managers.
Since communication is a key to building efficient teams, an open-door policy can be a game-changer for you. It can help create and maintain a transparent and unbiased work environment by improving the communication between you and your team.
No wonder, leading companies like IBM follow an open-door policy to promote effective communication at the workplace.
Here are a few tips to consider.
For instance, you can allow your employees to walk in the cabin at any instant. If this doesn't seem feasible, you can standardize the process. Ask your team to book an appointment for the discussion.
Dealing with conflicts, doubts, and distractions may seem draining as you progress in your managerial journey.
Take the help of a mentor to cope with tricky situations.
An experienced mentor can help you develop decision-making skills while gaining a new perspective on leading a team. With their guidance, you can move on an upward trajectory and establish yourself as a strong leader.
Here are a few ways to connect to an experienced mentor for guidance.
Pro Tip: Become a part of the About Leaders community, where industry leaders share valuable advice and tips on positive leadership. Reading researched and well-written blog posts shared by experts on About Leaders will help you develop a leader-like mindset, thereby preparing you for success.
Besides, you can enroll in leadership-building courses by About Leaders, trusted by 30,000 international leaders.
Setting clear and realistic expectations for your team reduces the chances of project failure. It helps the team members understand their responsibilities and create a solid strategy to meet the expectations.
Here are a few tips for setting clear expectations.
To be a good leader, you should support your team with a well-constructed tech stack. This will not just simplify and streamline their tasks but also increase their trust in you as a leader. That's why you need to know how to choose a technology stack to satisfy your needs.
For instance, if you are leading a team of sales reps, implementing customer relationship management (CRM) software can help your team collect customers' data. This can boost their work efficiency and help them achieve their goals.
The key here is to talk to the team and understand their challenges. Based on pain points, offer resources like task automation tools, communication platforms, and CRMs. This will help your team communicate, collaborate, and stay organized and efficient.
Pro Tip: Create a culture of learning and knowledge-sharing by organizing brainstorming sessions. Allow your team to collaborate once a week and discuss innovative ideas. You can even arrange monthly webinars or seminars by inviting guest speakers. This will foster a happy and productive environment, thereby keeping your team motivated.
As a first-time manager, you should keep learning and improving your leadership skills.
Your team's feedback on your leadership can help you lead with high effectiveness.
So, ask your team what went right and wrong during the task.
Here are a few crucial questions to consider:
Encourage them to offer honest feedback on your role as a leader. This can help you understand your team's perspective on your leadership style.
Acknowledge and reward your team for a job well done.
This will let your team know their contribution and effort are highly valued and appreciated.
What's more? Appreciation can boost their morale and motivate them to perform even better in the future.
Notice the following screenshot of a survey conducted by O. C. Tanner. As you can see, it reveals that employee recognition is the most vital driver of great work.
Here are a few tips to reward your team.
Team management is a challenging task.
Lack of experience can make it further difficult for first-time team leads to justify their role. They need skills, a learning attitude, and patience to develop a good rapport with their teammates.
The shared tips can boost your confidence and help you establish yourself as a trustworthy leader. So, follow these tactics to find your footing as a manager.