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Set the stage for groups to excel

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in Leaders & Managers,Team Building

When you manage a team, you’re entering into a relationship of mutual dependence. What you say and do will determine the team’s success. Take these steps:

Put team members first. Show that you care about the welfare of the people in the group. They should see that they are your top priority. If you react to unfavorable developments by fretting about your annual bonus, you send the wrong signal. It’s better to reply, “Let’s view that setback as a chance to prove how resilient we are. I’ll support each of you and we’ll bounce back, together.”

Ask and deliver. To prove your commitment to the team, ask each individual, “What can I do to improve your performance? How can I help you contribute even more to our success?” Take their responses to heart and look for ways to deliver what they want. If they seek more tools or training, follow through. If they want more flexibility or more say over certain decisions, honor their request.

Enthuse. Express enthusiasm for your role and dive into your work with gusto. When team members see the energy that you bring to the job, they will put more effort into their work as well.

Let teams fail. It’s counterintuitive to welcome failure, but it can produce lasting benefits. Assign talented teams to pursue ambitious projects with a high upside. Even if they face long odds of pulling it off, let them try. The chance of failing can make the pursuit of success more thrilling.

— Adapted from Doing The Right Things Right, Laura Stack, Berrett-Koehler.

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