The performance of any given team is dependent on several components. Do all members of the team support and work to further the core purpose? Is there trust and support on the team? Is intra team communication effective? What about communication between the leader of the team and its members?
As the leader, it’s up to you to build a workplace culture that fosters engaged and effective teams. Whether you have 1 employee or oversee several teams and departments across your organization, the performance of a team is largely dependent upon the environment that it operates in and its leadership. Here are some tips to show your teams the love.
Listen, Listen, Listen: Active listening is a building block of a trusting supportive team. Be sure to give your full attention the person you are meeting with. This means putting your smart phone away, and turning your computer monitor off. Since non-verbal communication makes up 55% of the message, your non-verbal cues are equally important. Maintain eye contact, physically lean in to the conversation and use open neutral body language (no crossed arms!) Finally, use techniques like paraphrasing and asking clarifying questions to ensure that you are receiving the message the way that it was intended to be understood.
Be Transparent: Nothing kills a supportive team environment faster than lack of transparency. Be open and honest with your team members. Share applicable strategic and company information and then ask for feedback. Invite team members to voice their questions and concerns and be sure to address each one. Team members who are in the loop feel more closely connected to the company.
Solicit Feedback: Ask your teams to share their ideas and suggestions. Feedback from team members is invaluable since they bring different perspectives to the table. Furthermore, team members are often the front line of the company and have exposure to day to day challenges and successes that you may be somewhat removed from. Be open to feedback regarding team operations and your leadership style as well. There is great potential for growth and learning here for everyone.
Show Gratitude: Take appreciation further than a pat on the back and a shout out in the team meeting; work to instill a deep sense of personal satisfaction and accomplishment in individual team members. Help team members develop a strong sense of self-confidence and self-praise that outweighs any pat-on-the-back or award provided.
Build Trust: Encourage constant interaction and high performance within the team so they succeed or fail together, creating tight bonds of loyalty to the company and each other. Successes are met with equal high praise and rewards, while failures are met with encouraging acceptance and postmortem learning discussions yielding next-step improvements.