When you reach a level in your career that you are managing a team that is when things change. It is not just you doing the work. You have to train, mentor, and trust your team. Throughout your career you will have to learn to work with different personalities and some will be better than others. I have been very blessed to have amazing people come in learn and grow. Then when the time came they moved on to have amazing careers. Along the way, I learned the best ways to manage a team.
My managing skills may be considered unconventional but they work. I learned something so important from one of my bosses. When I started out as an assistant and started to work my way up she said something that stuck with me. I was a reflection of her and my successes were her successes. Because me climbing the ladder in my career was a reflection of her management skills. She was amazing and when it was time for me to fly she was more than happy to let me fly.
Best Ways to Manage a Team
Be a mentor
I have had many different people who have mentored me and still do. They lead by example and I have followed in their footsteps with my team. Yes, you are technically the boss and there are going to be times where everyone needs to hit the ground running. However, that is no excuse to not mentor your team. People who are just starting out in your industry are there to learn. You are there to guide and teach them.
I firmly believe that my team should know everything I do. I have watched managers withhold information from their teams. They do this because they are insecure and what they think is job security. Withholding information and not teaching them the ins and outs just creates problems. People don’t come into a company to just shuffle around the crap you don’t want to do. They come in wanting to learn and grow.
Now I bring people on board and they stay for about 2 years and then move on or into a different role. That is what is supposed to happen. I bring them in teaching them, guide them and sometimes I tell them it is time to fly the nest. Because I want them to grow and get to a management level and further. The purpose of having an assistant is to have help, but I want more for all of them. I want them to succeed.
You have to delegate that is the whole point of having a team. One of my mentors told me that the whole point of having a team is to hand off work so I can concentrate on the bigger picture. Being a complete control freak, this was very hard for me to hear. I had no choice the work wasn’t going away and it was one of the best things I could do for not only me but my team. By delegating the work it makes your responsibilities a priority. It also helps your team take ownership of their work which builds their confidence.
Take into consideration that everyone has strengths and weaknesses. This is why it is good to get to know the team members individually. People do better when they are doing tasks they like. This makes the whole team accomplish more.
Respect your team! When you respect them they will respect you. They already look up to you so being respectful of them and their work will make them appreciate you. We are all human and we all have moments, but respecting your team and the talent they have can make any team a great team. They shouldn’t be afraid to come to you with a problem. When you have a mutual respect it makes it easier to tackle the issues together.
Hold regular meetings
Holding meetings regularly to see what everyone is up to and to delegate tasks and projects is a must. I do my meetings every morning. It doesn’t have to belong, but taking 10-15 minutes to discuss what needs to be done and what has been completed helps the team be more productive. Every morning around 9:30 we get together for a quick review. The last thing you need is your team not having any direction. In my industry, you have to be on top of projects all the time because most of the time there are 20 different things going on at once. Getting together to talk about any issues or to answer questions so they can get the job done right the first time helps with productivity.
Not everyone is going to be best friends at work. It is your job to manage conflict. This can be within your team or with another team in a different department. Either way, it needs to be nipped in the butt. I am not really big on conflict, but it comes with the territory. When employees have animosity, it can be very uncomfortable for everyone. The way I handle this is by calling a sit-down and hashing it out. If one of my team members has an issue with someone, not on my team. I do a one-on-one to solve it. Now I do the one on ones between teams because at the end of the day I am responsible for my team.
Side note I work for a family-owned company so HR really doesn’t exist so we solve many disagreements among ourselves. Think of the wild west, but we somehow get through it.
As you lead a team decisions will need to be made every day. When you make clear concise decisions, it shows leadership. They are looking to you when it comes to making final decisions. You are going to need to be quick on your feet when it comes to making decisions. The best way to do this is to be assertive when it comes to your authority. When it comes to business there is no time for sitting on the fence. Go with what is best for the company as a whole.
Acknowledge and Reward good work
This is so important. When it comes to keeping good morale among your team. When you acknowledge a job well done with your team it encourages them to be creative. You want to give them positive feedback when they do a good job. If you do nothing, but criticize them when they make a mistake it’s going to make them not care about a while. Trust me I know because when this used to happen to me when I was on a team it just made me shut down and not care.
When you reach a milestone you should celebrate with your team. It doesn’t have to be big it’s the little things. Bring them in coffee or treat them to lunch. They should be able to celebrate and enjoy a job well done. At the end of the day, you need to know that you wouldn’t be successful without your team.
You are human so you should never be afraid to ask others for help. When you ask others for help it shows that you aren’t a “know it all”. No one likes a know it all! When you make a mistake own it. You will never stop learning and you can’t do it all. Acknowledging your weaknesses doesn’t make you weak it makes you human. You will never stop learning and you never know if maybe the people around you can teach you. When you are real it makes it easier for your team to approach you with questions or concerns.
I said it once and I will say it again. Your team is a reflection of you so if they fail you fail. If the succeed you succeed. so be transparent and honest with them. You might be managing the team, but you are part of that so be sure to remember that. You are there to teach, mentor and guide them to victory.
If you have any suggestions or questions on Best Ways to Manage a Team drop a comment below. I am always open to learning and answering any questions.
You should also check out How To Be Productive In A Toxic Work Environment. This article is very helpful when it comes to being productive in a toxic work environment.