10 Essential Team Management Skills

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Photo by Hannah Busing

Do you consider yourself a natural-born leader? These are people who possess innate talents that translate well into a team managers’ role. However, even those who have these qualities can improve their team management skills somehow. As with any profession, there is always room to grow and deepen one’s abilities.

Mastering the art of team management requires a lot of self-awareness and practice. Some may believe that they are a strong leader yet really only satisfy the minimum requirements. What separates a leader from just a boss is their level of self-awareness and humility. However, before addressing these two characteristics, let’s address the foundational team management skills required before making the upgrade from boss status to leader status.

If you make an effort to hit all these marks, these are signs that you possess the essential team management skills.

1. You Give Useful Feedback

Rather than merely taking on a passive role by stepping back and letting the team do their thing, leaders engage regularly with the group. A portion of that engagement involves providing feedback, whether positive or negative. So long as the feedback is constructive, team members feel encouraged to work harder and improve.

2. You Make Your Team Feel Safe

Team leaders instill trust in their team members. This is done in part by way of a team leader exuding confidence as it reassures the team that the project is in good hands. A leader also fosters a safe environment by ensuring that everyone feels comfortable with their responsibilities and team members.

3. You Assign Tasks Based on Strengths

Delegating tasks isn’t as simple as assigning work to anyone available on the team. An effective team leader recognizes each team member’s strengths and weaknesses and knows how to delegate work to accommodate those strengths. This is essential for the team’s efficiency and work output and means that the team leader has to do a lot more than knowing each team member in the group by name.

4. You Provide Clear Instructions

A strong leader clearly communicates a task’s objective so that team members can understand what is expected of them. That being said, a leader does not have to micromanage a team member. Instead, a leader can provide clarification or guidance if need be to ensure the team member doesn’t go off the track.

5. You Know How to Handle Various Personality Types

Since every person is unique, a leader must learn how to handle numerous personality types. While some are more difficult to work with, a leader knows how to manage every type. A leader understands what is more important to specific personality types. For example, if someone is particularly analytical, a leader knows that they require more details to back up a task.

6. You Are an Excellent Communicator

Leaders stress the importance of communication to their team members. Communication is the glue keeping team members together. It ensures that everyone is on the same page and that no one feels lost or afraid to ask for help. It helps keep things progressing and for everyone to have a clear understanding of what they need to do on their end.

7. You Can Identify and Resolve Conflict Effectively

If conflicts are not addressed as quickly as possible, they can break down communication and productivity in a team. A leader knows how to detect conflicts within a team and apply strategies to resolve them before they cause damage to the group or business.

8. You Don’t Forget About Employee Recognition

Employee recognition doesn’t have to look like more than providing positive feedback. Appreciation makes a team member feel noticed and that they play an essential role in the group. It will also encourage them to work harder.

9. You Make Yourself Available and Approachable

A leader does not make themselves unavailable. As they need to allot time to address matters beyond team management, they can block time on their calendar dedicated to addressing team members’ individual needs. One-on-one meetings can help strengthen your relationship with your team members and can also be used as an opportunity for you to identify their strengths and weaknesses.

10. You Aim to Make Impartial, Unbiased Decisions

Leaders don’t favor one team member over another. In their eyes, everyone is of equal importance. A leader should always prioritize the team’s best interests as a collective group and not let any biases get in the way of their decisions. Team members will be able to detect favoritism, and this will cause tension in the group.

From a Boss to a Leader

If any of the following resonates with you, you are well on your way to becoming a solid team leader. Ideally, your skills will gradually solidify with every project you lead. As humans, no leader is expected to be perfect in all of these areas; however, a leader dedicated to improving strives to excel at all the essential team management skills.

If you aim to master team leadership beyond the essential team management skills, particular characteristics set strong leaders apart from the rest, such as self-awareness. What separates strong leaders apart from adequate leaders is their ability to balance the collective object and group members’ individual objectives. A leader cannot simply act in a way that suits them best, making them a leader who only cares about how the outcome of a project impacts them and the company, not the other team members or the greater good. While it can be challenging to achieve this goal, it is possible with a strong foundation of essential team management skills.

Mastering essential team management skills is only a fraction of a team leader’s job. Time tracking software can help ensure that you are not falling behind on supporting your team members. actiTIME gives you a clear visualization of where your time throughout the day goes. It can also make it easy to see when you have time available for those one-on-ones with your teammates. actiTIME is a great way to assess your work-time to ensure that you are effectively managing your team.

Originally published at actitime.com

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