TEAM MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES
TEAM– Together Everyone Achieves Much
Every company or business organization needs a team of experts to keep it going. Creating a business that can stand requires having a team working for you to keep the boat moving. The need for teams is not only required in team sports and games. As a matter of fact, business is a team sport. If you want to succeed as a leader of an organisation or business, you must do business as a team. You must be ready to invest in teams because they make up your workforce.
Today, I’ll be talking about team management.
A team is a group of individuals who share a common goal and are committed to achieving it for the benefit of all involved.
Team management refers to techniques, processes and tools for organising and coordinating a group of individuals working towards a common task. A lot is involved in team management like teamwork, effective communication, setting objectives (goal setting), and team performance appraisal.
Team management requires leadership and leadership in teams requires having the skill needed to direct teams and to resolve conflicts.
There are stages teams go through during their life cycle.
Forming– This is the stage when a team is just formed, made up of two or more people with a range of skills and complementary abilities.
Storming– This is the stage when conflict begins to arise in a team. This is common because of differences in personalities and the team is trying to adjust to each other.
Norming– This is a stage of normalcy when the team begins to bond with each other. At this point, the team members have adjusted to the differences among themselves and have become mutually acceptable.
Performing– At this stage, members of the team are working together to achieve tasks. Now they are working as one body. Peak performance is expected here.
As teams continue to work together they continue to grow and their tasks may change. There is a need for proper team management skill to be able to captain the ship to sail rightly.
TEAM MANAGEMENT SKILLS
Narreg G. Bennis quote that “Leaders are people who do the right things, managers are people who do things right.”
Leadership involves creating a compelling vision of the future, communicating that vision, and helping people understand and commit to it.
Managers, on the other hand, are responsible for ensuring that the vision is implemented efficiently and successfully.
These roles overlap, and to be fully effective, you need to fulfil both roles. Leading a team calls for both leadership and management skills.
A team leader can use the following simple tools to achieve much from teams:
Delegation – Top priority for team managers is delegation. You cannot work alone, no matter how skilled you are. You need a team so you can achieve much. So it is important you delegate effectively. Success in delegation entails matching people and task. Explain team goals and roles. Draw up team charts – helps put you on track.
Task allocation – pick the right player for the job.
Motivate your team
Different people have different needs when it comes to motivation. Some individuals are highly self-motivated, while others will underperform without management input. This is where a good team leader needs to make use of emotional intelligence. Identifying and meeting the needs of your team makes it possible to ensure your team members are working in the right frame of mind.
Develop your Team through GROWTH
Every top salesman you see today was once a shy and timid salesman. The same is true for every profession.
Teams are made up of individuals who have different outlooks and abilities and are at different stages of their career. Some may find the task challenging, and they may need support. Others may be “old hands” at what they are doing and may be looking for opportunities to stretch their skills. Either way, it is your responsibilities to develop all of your people. Your success as a manager depends on this ability. People will be willing to work for you if you make them better.
Team bonding activities
Used simply to build relationships where team members lack cohesion due to organisational structure or physical distance. Team bonding activities is necessary especially in the storming stage in teams. Team bonding is also great when a team achieved a particular task or made a big hit.
If you give and receive regular feedback, everyone’s performance will improve. To give and get good feedback from team members, you must keep communication channels open within the team. Ensure that your team give you their reports on time and make your analysis of the feedbacks giving to you. Let your team know you appreciate their efforts let them know if they are doing well or need improvements in certain areas.
Develop good open communication skills – (External and internal)
Communication skills are essential for success in almost any role. But there are particular skills and techniques that you will use more as a manager than you did as a regular worker, i.e.
i. Communicating with team members
ii. Communicating with others outside your team.
Communicating with teams-
As a team manager, you are likely to chair the sessions or meetings. Many meetings include brainstorming sessions. As a team manager, you will often have to facilitate. So you need to be comfortable with doing this. Active listening is another important skill for managers and others to master. When you are in charge it is easy to think you know it all and that you know what others are going to say. Do not fall into this trap. Most good managers are active listeners; it helps them detect problems early, avoid costly misunderstandings and build trust within teams.
Communicating with people outside you teams-
Your boss is probably the most important person you need to communicate with. Take time to understand fully what your boss wants from your team and for your team. Do not be afraid to ask your boss to coach or mentor you. You can easily learn from him, but he may not be proactive about offering this. Be clear about asking for help.
As a manager your job is to look after your team and protect it from unreasonable external pressure. Your job also is to manage the way your team interacts with other groups/stakeholders. Talk to these people to find out what they want from you. And be positive in the way you talk about your team members to others. The impression you give about the team you lead to others is only a reflection of you as a leader.
TRAPS TO AVOID AS A TEAM MANAGER
- Thinking you can rely only on your existing job knowledge and technical skills to succeed as a manager is limiting. It is essential that you take the time to develop good management and people skills as well – these can be more important than your technical skills. You must be ready to study more outside your field and gather knowledge of other things.
- Failing to consult regularly with your boss is a misguided attempt to show that you can cope on your own.
- Embarrassing your superior, or letting him get a nasty surprise. Follow the “no surprises “rule.
- Doing anything requires your boss to defend you to others. This can cause your boss to lose face with his peers and superiors, and it makes it look as if his team is out of control.
- Failing to talk to your customers and stakeholders about what they want from yourself and your team.
- Using your authority inappropriately – make sure that everything you ask people to do is in the interest of the organisation.
- Ignoring to notice red flags that arise among team members’ characters and attitude. Do not allow your team mates cross the line. Reward bad behavior with adequate discipline.