If you’re in charge of a team—or even a single individual—your leadership skills will steer that team or person to success. The best team leaders know how to guide and inspire their people to accomplish common goals, while deftly handling challenges and pressures. Some of today’s most vital team leadership skills include:
1. Leading by example. Successful team leaders stay cool in “hot” situations. They listen to complaints and resolve them equitably, thereby showing employees how to best handle difficult situations They work as hard—or harder—than those they oversee. They change their focus and priorities as needed.
2. Exceptional team leaders clearly convey information of every kind, including helping team members understand their roles. They encourage questions at each step of a project. They point out what’s working and what’s not. They keep everyone in the loop—because withholding information leads to distrust.
3. Conveying a vision. A clear vision of the “big picture” that defines team and organizational success is an essential skill for every team leader. They share this vision with their people, which inspires them to work together to achieve goals and to understand the nature and importance of each person’s contributions.
4. Being a facilitator. Team leaders help their teams succeed by helping individuals reach their full potential. They oversee projects to ensure timely completion. They help team members build on strengths, work on weaknesses, and problem-solve. They match tasks to those best able to complete them. They coach, without blame, those who may be struggling.
5. Self-confidence. Exceptional team leaders are confident in their ability to set achievable goals, overcome challenges, and make informed decisions. They never change their minds on a whim. Their confidence inspires trust in their team members.
6. Team leaders gain their employees’ respect through fairness and honesty. They never pick favorites or put team members down—in public or private. Should setback occur, they defend their team to higher ups. They admit mistakes and adhere to the rules they’ve set for their team. Result? Their people give their all.
7. An upbeat, can-do attitude, a sense of humor, and the ability to laugh at oneself brings out similar attitudes in team members. Team leaders respect sincere effort, express gratitude for work well done, and adopt team members’ ideas.
These skills are essential to becoming the best team leader possible, one who motivates team performance and increases job satisfaction!
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