Have you got what it takes?
7 Skills Needed for Strong Team Leadership
You might have the word 'manager' in your job title but that doesn't necessarily mean you are a leader. The two roles are linked but are not quite the same - you may well have been promoted to a position of a manager within your company but the step up to being a good team leader requires a wide and varied skillset.
‘When you are promoted into a role where you are managing people, you don't automatically become a leader,' states this Forbes article. So, how do you transcend from being a manager to an effective manager of people, demonstrating excellent team leadership? Do you know what it takes to be a leader?
Becoming a team leader means you need to master the art of communication. You'll no doubt have demonstrated a talent for this to have secured a management role in the first place; now it’s an integral part of your job. Strong team leadership requires not just regular but shrewd communication too - you need to keep your team members briefed and informed about developments within the business so they feel fully involved. But you also need to show astute judgement as you can't pass all information on; you need to be skilled at filtering what you do and don’t communicate.
2. Approachability and availability
It's very difficult to show effective team leadership if you're rarely seen by your team. Depending on the demands of your job there will always be instances when you're not around but it's imperative a large proportion of your time is spent with the team you lead and manage. You need to be seen and to be available to them. In short, you need to be approachable. You should be the person your team members look to for guidance, advice, support and inspiration. Work alongside your team, not at a distance from them.
3. Showing consistency
Everyone has their bad days - days when they feel tired, unmotivated, distracted or just in a poor mood. Apart from you, of course. You can't have bad days. Your mood can rub off negatively on your team members, who rely on you to be measured and consistent. No-one wants to come into work every day treading on eggshells, uncertain as to the kind of atmosphere they'll be met with. Showing consistency is one of those strengths that demonstrates what it takes to be a leader.
Can you be a leader if you're disorganised? It's doubtful. Your team will look to you to be in control, to know what you're doing - and when - at all times. If you're super-skilled and highly intelligent but can't put processes and structures into place, to help everyone work as a team, you'll struggle to do well at team leadership. Not only that, but if operations run smoothly and everyone knows their job, responsibilities, deadlines and task details, then you have also put in place solid guidelines for others to follow. This then makes another key aspect of team leadership easier to introduce: delegation.
5. The art of delegation
Delegation is an art and one of the most effective team leadership skills there is. Delegating work isn't passing on the stuff you don't want to do - it's about lightening your own workload and empowering team members at the same time. Becoming a leader at work means you have time pressures in other areas and so even if your natural inclination is to take on everything placed in front of you, it's just not possible. As you progress your leadership learning curve, you become less of a doer and more of a delegator; you have direct reports and you also have a duty to delegate tasks to them so they can develop their careers and skills. When it comes to how to lead a team at work, the answer is to allow individuals to grow and flourish.
6. Confident and knowledgeable
As a team leader, you need to command an impressive level of knowledge and carry that off with confidence. The two properties are linked - if you 'know your stuff' you'll feel confident in your performance and your expertise will influence your team. It goes without saying that any credible leader needs to be respected by his or her team; if that respect is missing it can seriously hamper your chances of being a good team leader. If you need further support in perfecting any of these leadership qualities Pareto’s Sales Management course is tailored to do exactly that.
7. Be fair in your dealings
Sometimes training simply isn’t enough; if you need to find a strong team leader for your business, Pareto Law have been recruiting sales personnel for over 20 years - for a free consultation contact us today.
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