Managing a team - group of people sat together discussing work

Managing a team isn’t an easy task, so here’s how you can do it efficiently.

As your businesses grows, the need to effectively manage a team becomes increasingly important. All successful entrepreneurs understand the power of leveraging their effort by investing in a team of people, on the basis they can get so much more done with a team than without a team.

This article looks at five tips on managing a team effectively.

Now, the first step before actually managing a team is to recruit people to join you. This first step is possibly the most fundamental. You can have the greatest management and leadership style, but if you’re trying to manage the wrong people, then you’re in for an enormous headache.  

A company like DSC Personnel can be helpful when looking to recruit aligned individuals, as that’s the key metric you’re looking for with recruitment – alignment.  You want people that are naturally aligned with your project’s purpose, mission and values. You also want people that will get on with each other. This is where alignment comes in. If you want to get off to a good start this begins at the recruitment phase.

 

  1. BE THE BOSS

There’s a fine line between being a boss and being bossy or that of a leader versus a dictator. It’s imperative you bear in mind that whilst you’re the leader of the project your role is directional. Your job is to empower and equip your staff to take on the tasks they’re required to undertake rather than micromanage and undermine their efforts.  That said, there will need to be an element of hierarchy in place so that you are differentiated as being the one in charge.

It can be a difficult balancing act. One of the more common pitfalls today is that people will try to be everyone’s best friend. Rather than being a captain of the ship that is focused on getting things done, they seem to prefer to not rock the boat and emotionally placate people in order to keep everyone happy. This can be an exhausting and unrewarding process.

In contrast, Captains unapologetically give orders to their crew. It’s important you take the wheel and be in the driving seat of your project to ensure it gets to its final destination.

You’ll need to develop the power and courage to assert healthy boundaries and expectations within your team. When you take to the helm like a Captain, people will not only start to listen and respect you more, but they’ll pull together as a team. This means your life becomes much more effortless and productivity will soar.

 

  1. DON’T MICROMANAGE

It’s important to be directional in the sense of providing tasks for people within your team to complete. But at the same time, you must allow people to own their task rather than micromanage them.

When you micromanage people, your team will get fed up very quickly and they’ll lose a lot of trust, faith and respect in you. By micromanaging when managing a team, you are inferring a lack of trust and respect toward them.

You want to be there to support, direct, and uphold boundaries (such as project deadlines) but let your teammates get on with their work and own their tasks.  

When people feel they have autonomy over their work they tend to be more creative and more motivated to do a good job than when someone is constantly looking over their shoulder.

 

  1.  USE BOTH THE CARROT AND THE STICK

You’ll have most likely heard the metaphor of the carrot and the stick which describes the polar forces of motivation theory.  

A donkey has a carrot dangled in front of him just out of biting reach. He walks towards the carrot because he is moving towards the pleasure associated with the reward of eating that carrot.  

However, rewards don’t always work in motivation theory. A man is leading the donkey with a stick, which the donkey associates with pain. The donkey doesn’t want to be hit, so he moves away from it. 

This describes the psychological principle that there are two types of people. Those that prioritise moving TOWARD pleasure and those that prioritise getting AWAY from pain.  

Most people will have a mixture of both but there is usually one predominant driving force that motivates a particular person. Many times, the person that is a “moving toward” type will be more positive and ambitious, focused on success and achieving a state of happiness. Whereas the “moving away” type will be more negative and focused on the fear of loss.

By applying both forces, you’ll be able to apply it to help you in managing a team correctly. The key here is to understand what motivates each unique member of your team and to frame your requests in a way that resonates with their motivation type.

 

  1.  WORK IN COLLABORATION

It’s common when managing a team for there to be a fragmented approach to decision making. Each person puts forward their idea, but often has such an emotional attachment to their own idea that the discussions turn more into an arm wrestle or tug of war. They want to “win” rather than a collaborative effort.

In an ideal world, your team should be making decisions together, rather than sitting at opposite ends of the table like adversaries, each trying to validate their idea. This is why team building events such as White Water Rafting and High Rope Courses have become so popular.

  1.  GIVE APPRECIATION

Giving appreciation to a person is akin to watering a plant. It makes them blossom and grow into their full potential meaning they radiate with brightness and vibrancy, rather than sit in a grey slump like so many employees do.  The more you authentically appreciate people the more they will want to do for you and your business.

 

Managing a team can be problematic. But there are ways you can boost team morale and keep your staff happy.

5 Tips for Managing a Team

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