What would be your reaction if you are promoted as a Team Leader? Of course you’ll be overwhelmed and excited but stress of managing a team of five, six or seven people will soon overcome you.
It’s the job of management to help and train their leaders and managers transition in their new role smoothly. Soft skills should be the focus when you move into management roles but a lot of these interpersonal skills might be hard for new leaders.
Here’s how you can do that;
Some interpersonal skills you will need are:
- Negotiation skills (with team members and other team leaders)
- Empathy (putting yourself in your team member’s shoes)
- Overseeing training and development (helping team members improve their skills like time management)
- Ability to manage pressure (from sales targets, SLA targets, etc.)
- Delegation (to build competence and skills in team members)
- Motivation (motivating their team members), active listening, flexibility, etc.
Here are a few tips on how to help our team leads become successful leaders:
Show them by example
A lot of us learn by directly or indirectly watching those we admire. We have role models that help guide or govern our goals, aspirations, personal and professional development. There are several studies that show the importance of role models in early career stages.
Most people learn by watching and experiencing, rather than through lectures and training courses. Beside training work on yourself. Be someone to whom your team can look up to.
Communicate with them
Communicate with your individual team members or team leads. Have one-on-one discussions explain them why each interpersonal skill is important. Share your personal stories of growth and development. Tell them how these skills have improved your leadership and helped you succeed.
Make training a part of their schedule
Cultivating leadership skills isn’t about assigning your team leads a training course to complete in their free time. Training courses can become an immense burden when it’s expected to be an addition to your workload and personal activities. As the manager, you need to carve out time from within your team leads’ daily work schedule to complete any necessary training and development courses. Agree on a set period of dedicated time, or find ways to incorporate training into the platforms they use regularly.
This shows your team leads that their success is important to you, important enough that you are giving them time at work to improve on their skills.
Send leadership and management content
Regularly share helpful articles or content with your team leads. This could be an official email, a link sent via a personal chat, or an article shared on LinkedIn. Whenever you come across a great article, training course, or piece of content on leadership or management, send it to your team leads. They will know that you’re invested in their success.
Strengthen good leadership behavior with verbal commendations, written notes or emails, and small gifts. This is something we often forget or overlook. A simple, “great job” goes a long way in reinforcing leadership skills and motivating others. We know how it feels when we get positive validation on a skill or action. It fills us with pride and further convinces us that the skill or action is necessary.
Stepping into a leadership role can be overwhelming, but it’s important to practice these skills every day. Which one can you start today?
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