Team work is often the dreaded variable. From middle school team projects to levels of congress working together can be hard. A leader must take different people with different desires, alternate agendas, and various levels of knowledge and find a way to make them successful as a team.
Leaders and managers need to find ways to unlock the potential of their team. A good leader can build a collaborative effort that creates results much larger than the sum of parts. Here are five keys to building a high-performance team by being an effective leader.
1. Goals. Goals are something everyone can relate to. A common purpose everyone knows, understands, and agrees. The more specific the goal, the better. A vague goal is not motivating. When people understand the purpose and the goal, they are more inspired to make it happen.
2. Positivity. Good leaders exude optimism. They are passionate, positive, and celebrate achievements. They have enough confidence to give it freely to others. They maintain a good attitude and spread it to others throughout the day.
3. Recognition. Praise should be given freely, not held back. It doesn’t have to be large displays of pricey awards, but appreciation shown in small ways makes a big difference. When team members know they are appreciated, recognized, and valued, they have a lot more incentive to perform. Praise is never too common, and a smile is infectious, and good leaders know this.
4. Communication. Trust is essential to any effective team. The only way to build trust is through complete and open communication. A team that follows blindly will eventually not follow at all, keep everyone in the loop and make communication a top priority. Constant and clear communication also makes it easier to be faster and more agile.
5. Regular Feedback. Of course, there will be times when you may need to critique, reprimand, or address issues. Instead of calling a sudden meeting that causes anxiety among everyone, hold regular progress meetings to cultivate new ideas, and address concerns. With open communication, feedback, critiques, and with a healthy dose of praise, this can be one of the best ways to strengthen a team.
High-performance teams don’t just happen, and they cannot be forced, they must be created. When you combine the right people, with the right skills, and give them the tools to succeed, it makes a big difference to the product, customers, and the bottom line.