Have you ever found working with others challenging?
Most of us have. Whether the work quality suffers or there are major delays, leading teams can be tough.
Learning how to work well with others should be an ongoing commitment for leaders, but it’s not always easy to understand.
Read on to discover 8 ways to build your leadership skills, improve productivity, and get better results.
1. Find Ways to Work Smarter
You’ve probably heard the phrase “work smarter, not harder” before, and there’s a reason for this: the best leaders tend to work less and get more done.
But “working smarter” isn’t just about achieving “more” in a certain period of time.
When we’re talking about teams, it’s likely that it has more to do with how we’re relating to team members on a day-to-day basis than the end result.
Ask team members for input on how to get tasks done more efficiently, and get to know their strengths ahead of time so that you can feel confident passing projects over when you need to delegate.
When project plans are communicated clearly and team members’ strengths are acknowledged, you have a much better chance of getting a project done well, and on time.
2. Resist the Urge to “Do More”
Most leaders face a common problem when trying to get something done: They take on too much responsibility for themselves and leave the “lesser” tasks for subordinates.
The best leaders recognize the importance of balance and wellness in life and are able to delegate more complex tasks to the right team members.
This isn’t about taking shortcuts, but about understanding how to achieve the same (or better) results, and spend that extra time enjoying your weekends.
3. Task People According to Skills and Interest
Any leader can “tell” people what to do, but delegating well is an art.
It involves working with others to understand who has the right skill and focus to take on specific tasks and project details.
Improving your delegation skills creates value all around: it frees up your time, empowers your team members, and offers valuable learning opportunities.
4. Be Crystal Clear About Your Purpose
Simply giving a list of “to-dos” without describing the bigger picture can lead to negative outcomes for a given project. By discussing the bigger picture, and even tying in incentives where appropriate, can go a long way towards keeping people-focused.
Passion and purpose go hand-in-hand towards a job well done.
Leaders who find working with others challenging might find solace in defining the bigger picture purpose of a project in order to get others passionate about being on board.
If you tie in each project with your long-term mission and vision, you’ll likely motivate the entire team to stay focussed and meet deadlines.
5. Identify High-Potential Employees
Have you wondered if that new employee is lazy or just shy?
If you haven’t seen results from individuals you don’t know well, don’t make assumptions too quickly.
It could very well be that they have a different work style, or might be better fitted to a different aspect of a project than their “type-A” counterparts.
There’s a difference between an employee who performs because it is expected of them versus an individual who exhibits high potential–sometimes we mistake the two.
Nurturing high-potential employees–for instance, those who might not be as inclined to “show off” their achievements–will help them move forward into future leadership roles that they are truly suited for, and they’ll be happier for it.
6. Be Accountable and Promote Accountability
Leading by example is key, and lets people know what you expect.
If showing up 20 minutes late every morning, for instance, is “okay” if you are a busy manager, but not okay for your team, you’re not leading by example.
Having a double-standard when it comes to accountability is one of the worst things you can do as a leader while working with others as it erodes trust.
Instead, be honest about mistakes and failures, and focus on helping others find ways to stay accountable to all team members.
7. Clarify How You Evaluate Quality
As a leader, you’re no doubt pushing for high-quality results, but what do you mean by quality?
People will have different ideas about what the end result should look like if you are not absolutely clear as you’re planning a project.
For instance, you might want to find examples of previous projects which had varying levels of results.
Here, it’s important to explain why a certain project turned out better than another so that people can keep your vision and goals clear as they work.
8. Get Expert Help
Are you a leader who is wondering how to get their team to perform better without putting in more hours?
Looking for ways to boost productivity and motivation?
I can help you build your leadership skills, create stronger teams, and move your business towards growth.
Book an appointment or call +1 (604) 943-0800 for complimentary advice.
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