How to lead a team effectively

Gisma - Business School

Team managers are considered successful when they have the right balance of technical know-how and soft skills.

Leadership skills are essential for professionals who are considering taking up the role of a manager. While the idea of leading a team sounds exciting and easy, it comes with a detailed set of responsibilities. As a manager, you are expected to showcase strong team management skills and ensure you are getting the most out of your team members. The job is as interesting as it is challenging.

We have therefore come up with a simple guide to help you understand the dynamics of team management. Read on to find out more!

What are team management skills?

When professionals assume the role of a manager, they have an array of responsibilities to tend to. Setting goals for your team and helping them to understand and commit to these goals is a key managerial requirement. In addition, you will also be expected to ensure that effective company strategies are drawn out and are implemented efficiently.

One of the crucial pre-requisites for being a successful manager is having team management skills. Possessing team management skills ensures that you are capable of managing a team effectively and helping them move in the right direction. The core skills to make managing a team easier include:

  • Delegation: A major part of team management is delegating the work to members of the team. It is essential to assign tasks in a way that contributes to overall productivity and ensure that tasks are assigned to the person who is best suited for it. Before assigning the tasks, however, it is advised to have a detailed plan about what the ultimate goal is and what the process to achieve it would be.
  • Motivation: Motivation goes a long way when it comes to effective team management. You must have a positive approach when you deal with your team members. Bear in mind that different people respond to different kinds of motivation. In a team, there will be people with different mindsets and approaches; while one employee might be highly self-motivated, another might need an external motivational push. It is important that you recognise the different needs of your team members and work your way up from there.
  • Communication: Communication skills are essential, irrespective of whether you are a team leader or team member. However, as a team manager, you are responsible for teaching the importance of communication in your team and ensuring there is no room for hostility.
  • Team development: A team consists of members who have different skill sets and areas of expertise. It is the responsibility of a manager to help team members develop skills that are crucial to achieving both team and project goals. It is also essential for team development to give constant constructive feedback.
  • Discipline: This trait is critical to all professions. Having discipline and instilling it among the team members is essential in order to achieve goals effectively and within the stipulated timeframe. When people work in teams, conflict may arise and discipline can help resolve these matters.

Why is it important to have effective leaders?

Effective leaders are crucial for organisations and society as a whole. They provide direction and a shared purpose, motivating individuals to work toward common goals. Leaders foster trust, open communication, and teamwork, creating a positive work environment that boosts innovation and job satisfaction.

In this rapidly changing world, the importance of leadership is vital to the success of businesses. Leaders guide organisations through challenges, ensuring stability and growth and utilise their acumen to make well-informed choices that benefit their teams and organisations.

Effective leadership is essential for providing direction, promoting collaboration, facilitating adaptability, making informed decisions, and driving positive change in organisations and society. It is a fundamental element for success in the modern world.

How to improve team management skills

Managing teams is a demanding job. It requires managers to showcase a range of different skills which also contribute largely to building effective teams. However, it is important to constantly improve your leadership skills, irrespective of how long you have worked as a manager. Here are some tips to help you:

  • Clear vision: Engaging your team is essential to draw maximum productivity from them. This will only be possible if you have a clear and concise vision. Share your vision with the team, explain the idea behind the vision and listen to their opinion about it. This will not only show them that their opinion is valued, but will also make your idea more convincing and credible.
  • Understand your team: People forget that managing a team also includes managing each individual. Since different people have different approaches and mentalities, you need to understand what stimulates them. Pay attention to their needs, so that you can motivate them to deliver to the best of their capabilities.
  • Communicate with the team: Maintaining effective communication within the team contributes significantly to achieving common goals and ensures ideas are clearly understood. Encourage your team to have brainstorming activities, where they can put forward their ideas and discuss them.
  • Fun is important: Ensuring you have a healthy balance between ‘work and play’ applies to all business settings. As manager, you should organise activities that your subordinates will enjoy and which will emphasise the importance of teamwork. If the work environment has a fun factor to it, people will enjoy the work and give their best.
  • Employees are an asset: Employees are the most crucial asset of an organisation. You need to ensure that they are offered rewards and growth opportunities that are in line with what they have to offer to the company. Ignoring talented employees is not a good idea, especially since the cost of talent acquisition is high.

When you utilise everyone’s strengths to achieve a common target, results are achieved efficiently.

Gisma - Business School

What are the characteristics of an effective leader?

Effective leaders possess a unique set of characteristics that distinguish them in their roles. They ensure the upkeep of morale which in turn can make companies more profitable. According to Gallup, up to 24% of employees are disengaged in the workplace due to poor leadership. This means businesses are suffering as a consequence as productivity levels are dropping.

Effective leaders have the ability to make well-informed, timely decisions, often drawing from their own extensive experiences. They are adaptable and can face new challenges head-on, navigating changing circumstances and adjusting their strategies as needed.

Some other good leader characteristics involve having a clear vision, excellent communication and decision-making skills, and integrity. By exhibiting a combination of these characteristics, leaders can inspire their teams to achieve common goals.

How to manage a team successfully

Managing teams is a process that managers have to learn from scratch. Right from hiring employees to making sure their productivity is optimum, managers have to do it all. So, what does it take to successfully manage a team?

Step 1: Hire the right people for the right roles. Leading a cohesive team can be challenging. Sometimes if roles are not properly filled, it leads to skill gaps. This in turn affects the functioning of a team. Carefully filter out potential employees for a role and then choose the perfect person for it.

Step 2: Be aware of the strengths and weaknesses of your team. This will help you to assign appropriate tasks to your team members, depending on their strengths. When you utilise everyone’s strengths to achieve a common target, results are achieved efficiently.

Step 3: Formulating a vision is much easier than executing it. Moreover, if your team do not agree with your idea, it could pose a challenge. Share your vision with the team members instead of imposing it. Discuss their ideas and agree on a common vision.

Step 4: Project management is essential to all operations in a business. Keep track of the progress, ensure that goals are achieved within the stipulated time and that the results are as per the expected standards.

Step 5: Team building is an important area of your responsibilities. Ensure that your team members interact with each other outside of the work domain too; since activities can nurture relationships, this will help immensely in team building.

Team managers are considered successful when they have the right balance of technical know-how and soft skills.

Since management is critical to businesses all over the world today, management courses are in high demand. Reputed institutes offer courses in management to help professionals excel as team managers by equipping them with important skills. One of the most popular for executive and regular management courses is Gisma Business School. Courses offered by Gisma include the MSc Project Management, awarded by The University of Law, and the MBA from Grenoble Ecole de Management to help aspiring managers enhance their skills.

If you want to start your journey to becoming a successful manager, enrol for the course that suits your needs. To find out more about the courses offered by Gisma, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What skills make a good team leader?

Here is a list of some effective leadership characteristics:

  • Good, clear vision
  • Empathy
  • Confidence
  • Accountability
  • Innovation
  • Resilience
  • Adaptability
  • Communication

What is important when leading a team?

Leading a team effectively means being able to be adept at many different skills at once to come to one common goal. Clear communication is key but simultaneously maintaining a level of respect is also essential. Conveying expectations, goals, and feedback in a respectable manner ensures everyone is on the same page and being treated fairly.

How do you overcome weak leadership?

Dealing with weak leadership can be challenging, but there are strategies to navigate this situation effectively. First, open and honest communication is vital. Provide constructive feedback and express concerns to the leader, as they may not be aware of their actions.

Building strong, collaborative relationships with colleagues can also mitigate the impact of weak leadership, as teamwork can override certain shortcomings.

What are the roles of a leader?

The role of a team leader is diverse. Leaders must create a positive work environment by fostering trust, open communication, and collaboration.  Leaders play the role of mentors and coaches, guiding their team members toward growth and success as well as problem-solvers, addressing challenges and ensuring the team functions smoothly.

How do you build trust in a team?

The most important aspect of building trust within a team is being consistent. Consistency in actions and words means your team members will be able to rely on you and predict your behaviour. Team members should also feel comfortable expressing their viewpoints in the workplace. This means cultivating an environment that is open and safe.

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