By: Lauren Battisti
As college students, we are constantly working in groups. Even though it may feel like a punishment sometimes, being able to work in teams is a foundation we must acquire ahead of graduation. Teamwork will be in our careers and knowing how to be a better leader can enhance the team’s performance, attitude and overall success.
The fundamentals of leadership discussed here will help your team’s motivation and execute their roles efficiently. Trust, accountability, standards and expectations and improving relationships are all crucial factors that will shape the end goal.
Success in teamwork doesn’t come from the leader, it comes from the entirety of the team as a whole.
During my experiences with group work, the good and the bad, I’ve found these five steps helped me become a better leader.
1. Find Your Leadership Style
Finding your leadership style is the first step to become a better leader. What are your strengths and weaknesses? How do you handle situations?
During my orientation at TGC, I was asked to select my best-fit leadership style. I was able to identify my types of management and learned that there are pros and cons to each style. You must read the situation carefully and then decide the most effective direction to take.
Take this quiz to assess your dominant leadership style.
2. Encompass Positivity
As a leader, maintaining a positive attitude can make a huge impact on your team’s attitude and performance. Remembering to be positive, even during times of crisis and stress, can drastically affect the outcome of the tasks ahead. Even if you are feeling down, your energy is reflective on the team. Teams will inevitably face challenges, so a discouraging and concerned attitude will overwhelm your teammates. It’s essential to embody an optimistic and confident demeanor because it serves as motivation and inspiration.
3. Encourage Creativity
Be open and agreeable to new ideas. Each member of your team deserves the chance to voice their opinions, even bad ones, because it welcomes conversation to the table.
It’s important to recognize the past’s ineffective ideas and move toward addressing new ones that may come as a risk, but offer solutions never tried before. By allowing your team to express creativity, it invites inspiration and rewards those who created new solutions.
4. Listen and Communicate Effectively
Keep the lines of communication completely open. Making sure your team knows they can come to you for anything is a great foundation of trust. For some, group meetings can act as limitation to contribution. This is where encouragement of one-on-one communication can make the difference, especially for members to feel heard and recognized.
Being a good leader means you need to express empathy and understand emotional intelligence. Remember that we are all human. Ask your team how they are doing and be aware of the verbal and nonverbal cues.
Addressing concerns is a great way to gain full understanding of member’s feelings. At the end of meetings, be sure to ask, “Are there any thoughts, questions, or concerns to share?”
5. Mirror a role model you would follow
Think back to your role models. They possess characteristics you attune your behaviors and actions to. Exemplify these behaviors and characteristics that will also encourage your team in hopes they emulate these desired behaviors.
Being a better leader means modeling the characteristics you wish to see in others.
For more tips and tricks, here is a leadership blog I’ve found very helpful!