If you’ve ever managed a team you know how easy it is to grow frustrated when individuals on the team don’t perform well and the team doesn’t get the results you’re looking for. Unfortunately when things go wrong, the first place most leaders and managers look to place blame is on the team. Don’t hear what I’m not saying. Sometimes someone on the team doesn’t do their job and things fail. But the team should be the last place you look to place blame. The first place you should look to place blame is on yourself. When things go wrong on your team, keep the following principles in mind:
#1 Remember You Hired Them
If you don’t like your team, just keep in mind you’re the one who hired them. You knew what you were getting when you brought them on the team, so you shouldn’t be surprised. That is, unless you don’t have an effective process for recruiting and on-boarding new team members.
#2 Be Specific and Clear
Don’t speak in vague generalities. Coach your team on specific behaviors and attitudes. Give them real clarity on deliverables and deadlines. And then hold them accountable to results. One of the worst things at work is to not know what you need to do to be successful. Don’t let you team feel that way. Be clear with them.
#3 You get what you Tolerate
If you don’t like the attitude or performance of your team it’s probably because you’ve allowed (by intention or neglect) them to develop a particular culture. The only one who can change that is you. If you’re frustrated, the good news is you don’t have to stay that way. You have the power to change the team dynamics by changing yourself and how you interact with and lead your team.
#4 Play to their Strengths
One of the fundamental roles of the leader is to put the team players in a role and give them responsibilities in which they can find success. Everyone wants to win, and winning at work feels much better than losing. Help your team feel like their winning and you’ll not only get more done, you’ll have more fun doing it.
#5 Your Approach Matters More than you Think
If you come in guns blazing asking what went wrong and barking about how this can never happen again, people aren’t going to follow you very far. But if you help them improve, develop them, and serve your team by investing in them you may be surprised at the results you get.
#6 Timing is Everything
Coaching while your player is making a play comes off as micromanagement, that’s the wrong timing. It produces pressure and leads to a poor performance. However, you don’t wait a couple of weeks to watch the game tape. You watch it immediately after the game and coach up your players in order to make changes to schemes and performance quickly before the next game. You can’t wait weeks before you address a poor performance or attitude. If you do they’ll think they’re doing a good job because you haven’t addressed it, and when you do they’ll be surprised.
Posted in Leadership, Staffing