Great Tips For Women In Middle Management To Create A Dynamic Team
Teams can either be a nightmare or a joy. As women, we have the natural skills to nurture, care for, guide and lead our team. However, at times we lack the ability to have difficult conversations and stand our ground when we’re confronted with difficult people. I have come across this situation so many times while working with clients and have put together 4 simple strategies you can use to create your dynamic team.
I have been working with dynamic teams intensely for 15 years and in my experience during the past years, I’ve come to one inevitable conclusion: there is no quality or characteristic more important than trust within a team. Trust is crucial for an effective team because it provides a sense of safety and the ability to be vulnerable in front of each other. It is vital to embrace and teach team members to be comfortable and unafraid to honestly admit when they are wrong or when they have made mistakes. Creating a safe environment where they can reach out to you as the manager without being or feeling judged, or an environment where it’s safe to say, “I need help” or “I’m not sure” and I’m sorry”. When you as a manager creating an environment of acceptance where your team can be vulnerable and receive coaching, it is amazing how communication, ideas and growth as well as trust and loyalty will emerge. To create a trusting environment for your team, it will be up to you as the manager, you must be willing to take the risk without guaranteeing success, make them feel safe and they will be more open to you and to each other.
I can remember participating in meetings where people didn’t trust one another, it was clear that their engagement was not passion or solution driven, but instead wanted to win a debate. When there is no trust between team members and a problem arises, which needs to be discussed, it can become very difficult to get to a solution, because everyone is trying to raise a point. They aren’t usually listening to the other person’s ideas or reconsidering their point of view; they’re figuring out how to manipulate the conversation to get what they want. Or worse yet, they start backstabbing each other, they don’t confront the person face to face, but vent about them in the hallways after the meeting is over. On the other hand, when vulnerability-based trust exists, team members are willing and able to say everything that needs to be said in front of one another, in a way that is solution driven, safe and there is nothing left to talk about behind closed doors.
Before you can expect accountability from your team, it is up to you as the manager to be more accountable yourself leading by example is crucial. If you as a manager don’t stand accountable, you’ll more than likely end up with an “accusing culture” within your team. Create a team of personally accountable members by actively showing them that their success matters to you. Make it clear to them that it’s okay to make mistakes as long as they are learning and owning up to it. Focus your team’s energy on “how can we help each other”. There will be times when you as the manager need to step right into the middle of a difficult issue and remind individual team members of their responsibility, both in terms of behaviour and results.
And remember, in order for peer-to-peer accountability to become part of the team’s culture, it has to be modelled by the manager.
Coach Your Team
When you coach your team or team members, you form an intense bond with them—and you tend to benefit from the coaching experience as well. I have personally coached dozens of women and still do, and I always walk away from the experience with either a new skill set, a new perspective, or a new enthusiasm for the job I’m doing. Coaching your team can have positive benefits for you as the manager as well as for your team or team member you’re coaching. You’ll find yourself brushing up on topics you’ve let get a little, “rusty” in the position you’re in. You’ll get more energized and all in an effort to provide the best coaching experience possible for your team. Coaching is a two-way street, it benefits both you and your team immensely. They grow wiser and more knowledgeable and enthusiastic to learn, a culture of learning starts to emerge within your team, and you get re-acquainted with the skill and learn to use it in new and interesting ways. I highly recommend coaching others as a way to “pay it forward” as you grow in your career. As far as relationships go, coaching is both an intimate and as beneficial as it gets.
In conclusion, to create a dynamic team, it is important to build a foundation of strong trust, effective communication, personal accountability for you and your team, and build strong relationships where people are able to be vulnerable in a safe place. By practising these simple steps you’ll start to see a dynamic team emerge.
P.S. If you’re looking to grow your success and move to the next level contact me today.