Four Things Your Team Needs from You

If you are a team leader, there are two facts about you. You are busy. And you have followers.

To do your job well, keep your sanity, and develop your team, you have to provide them with some important things that ironically, will also ease your stress. Here are four of them.

Clear expectations. It is difficult to read someone’s mind. When you clearly share what needs to be done and what the priorities are, your team members can plan their work accordingly and may not have to ask as many questions later. When in doubt, spell it out. Warning: don’t be patronizing.

A listening ear.  You can learn a lot by listening to your team members. Prompt discussion. Ask questions. Find out how things can be better, from their point of view. If they feel you care, they will go to bat for you.  Warning: have healthy boundaries so that discussions don’t turn into rambling detours…example, have 30 minute meetings or take someone to lunch so there’s an expected end time for the discussion.
 [shareable cite=”@bethbeutler”]You can learn a lot by listening to your team members.[/shareable]

Time. Particularly if you are new leader, your team will need time to learn how you like to do things. Don’t expect them to adjust to your preferences overnight. Once they do, you’ll be saving time and stress. Warning: find a balance between being specific about your preferences, and being unyielding or fussy.

Space. Micromanaging doesn’t help anyone. Give your team members some authority over their projects. For example, allow reasonable freedom in writing and formatting documents. Allow them to suggest changes to a long standing task…you might find a much more efficient method to getting it done! Warning: even the most proactive team members need some guidance. Don’t throw them to the wolves, but don’t require them to report on every step they take, either.

Now You: [reminder]What do you want out of your team leader?[/reminder]
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