To be a leader for a team is not as easy as working with machines, because people have their own ideas, attitudes, preferences, and styles of working, etc. I have experienced forming a team and taking over existing teams many times in my working experience, here are some important things I think worth noting for new team leaders.
It’s definitely worthy to spend time and energy to establish how you want the team to work, but how to express your idea and be accepted by your members should be considered as the first thing for a new team leader todo list. Knowing your team members doesn’t equalize knowing their names, but also trying to gain knowledge about their preferences, working styles, and personal attitudes. Taking time to talking with them in public/private, in/after work time could help you have a better connection with your members.
It would save you a lot of extra time to rectify them later if you can make your standards clear. This could be expressed in a variety of ways, like formal meetings, personal talks or your attitudes to existed issues. Explain what’s behind your decisions, what your priorities are, how will do the evaluations like KPI, what are you expecting, individually and collectively. This helps team members to know what are your definitions of things and narrow the gap of misunderstanding between you and them. This also brings them a sense of transparency and create positive momentum in the team.
While delivering your standards, it’s also necessary to explain details to them. We all want effective and efficient meetings, this standard is vague and won’t be implemented automatically. Give your team some guidelines to follow, check and review those criteria to cement them. If you don’t make those norms clear for them, your members may feel uncertain, unwilling to contribute or be excluded.
Try to set ambitious but achievable goals with your team and break each of them into small pieces to achieve wins. By setting goals early on, the group’s decision making will be clearer and more efficient, and you could lay the framework for holding the team accountable. Achieving wins in the process builds team momentum and motivates them. It’s also a sign of that you are connecting and learning.
It’s always better to have more structure, more touch points, more check-ins with your member. To be a leader is to serve your team members and help them do their work better, separating yourself and sitting apart from them will never be a good idea.