Strong leadership is the backbone by which high-performing teams are propped up. However, one does not simply give rise to the other. It is the responsibility of your leaders to build the team, nurture its every success, identify weaknesses and address challenges.
An essential element to building a high-performance team is knowing your team. Understanding where strengths and weaknesses lie within the workforce allows leaders to structure the team to be best for success. A strong leader will have both a long- and short-term strategy for development to increase the team’s output.
7 Leadership Strategies That Will Take Your Team to Success
Here are 7 effective leadership strategies that will improve the overall team productivity and efficiency, and help you build a high-performing team.
1. Set SMART Goals
As a skeleton for your strategy, SMART goals are a great way to structure your approach. The acronym stands for - Specific - Motivating – Attainable – Relevant – Timebound
- Specific – Working out the who, the what, the where and the whys of your goals will help you to define the objectives. What do you want to achieve? Who is involved? What resources will you require? Why is it important? The specifics of your goals should remain simple and easy for everyone to understand and should be relayed to your team clearly and concisely.
- Motivating – Staying motivated is a big part of building a successful team. This accounts for both you and your team. If you are to achieve the goals you have set, then remaining on task and keeping your team up there with you is paramount to your ongoing success.
- Attainable – How realistic are the goals you have set out? Your goals need to be attainable, and sometimes you may need to achieve one goal before you can move on to the next. Keeping long-and short-term goals may be the best solution if your dreams are big.
- Relevant – Is the outcome worthwhile? Are you in the right team for the job? Will a successful outcome match the needs and the effort it will take? Relevance is everything. If the defined goals are not apparent to your team, they will become misguided and disillusioned.
- Timebound – How will the success of the goals be realised? Who will they be attributed to? The goals should be timebound and trackable. If you set goals, you need to be able to display the results. The results should show a clear improvement, they should be attributable to your team, and the success should be shared.
2. Encourage Open Dialogue
Communication between your team should be fluid. One of the most important components of any successful team is communication. Your efforts should remain clear and concise throughout. The best method of communication is written through email. This way, you have solid documentation of the communication.
Other examples of communication excellence within a team are encouraging an open dialogue with team members. Allow team members to participate in open discussions and meetings; this will motivate your team and help them feel like they are part of the bigger picture.
3. Bridge Silos
This common business term relates to the collaboration of teams. A ‘silo’ is a large self-contained storage unit for commodities such as rice or flower. To ‘bridge silos’ means to bring together two separate entities. Sometimes to be successful, teams must unite to achieve a common objective. However, collaboration is hard to achieve. Often, teams lapse into working independently and in silos which can slow down progress.
A good leader will bridge the gap between the teams, ensuring effective communication, frictionless work and an understanding across the board of the collective goal.
4. Resolve Conflicts
As a leader, you cant always ensure that everyone in your team will always get along. When it comes to conflicts within the team, dealing with them promptly and by the book is the only way. It is important to treat everyone on a level playing field and never take sides. Reading body languages such as crossed arms, facial expressions or raised voices may provide you with the early signs of a rising complication. You need to rely on your communication and mediation skills instead of taking an authoritative approach to resolving conflicts within your team.
5. Identifying Areas of Development
Your team should be continually developing. Evolving and adapting to change is what keeps a team’s strength at its optimum efficiency. Adapting to challenges, shifting roles and responsibilities, and soft-skill training will help your team stay resilient and flexible. Communication, work ethic, organisation, tactfulness, and stress management should all form part of your regular training exercises to keep attitudes work focussed and engaged.
6. Develop Trust and Accountability
The key to a successful and high performing team is a trustworthy and accountable leader. Only then can you develop team cohesion and trust between teammates. Defining duties and expectations mean that no one member is left in the dark. Leading with a fair and reasonable attitude will see you remain approachable and your team faithful.
7. Keep Your Team Engaged
Teams are not always raring to go, firing on all cylinders. As a leader, you need to identify which members of your team may be feeling burnt out. In high-pressure work environments, particularly, stress can go unnoticed due to pressure to perform.
Making sure your team feel that they are a part of something bigger, offering assistance and guidance will help employee satisfaction. A satisfied employee is a happy employee, and happy employees work best. Keeping your team energised and engaged will keep your team at their best performance.
Whichever sector your industry falls into, the principles of strong leadership remain the same. You could be a football player, an insurance broker, a medic or a salesperson. Teamwork relies on the same framework.
As leaders, you should aspire to be a beacon to which your team look for guidance and inspiration. Your knowledge of your team’s strengths and weaknesses should be impeccable. When changes arise, you should have the understanding and oversight to fill any gaps, keeping the team working efficiently.
With a strong leadership strategy, your team will perform like a well-oiled machine with ambition and drive, propelling them towards their objectives.
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