Leadership is immensely important to teamwork because it gives fuel to the team’s commitment and engagement. It directly leads to higher job satisfaction, better performance, lower stress and low turnover. But, if you are hearing hushed groans, audible complaining, or seeing a drop off in performance, chances are that you need to start taking aim at building ownership.
Focus on Value
If you come to your team and ask them to work on a project, be ready to underscore why it is important. How does it help the company? Let all the team members know how valuable they are and the value of the project. Praise can be just as valuable as money. People who are naturally hard workers may not need recognition to do an outstanding job. But the lack of praise creates a void which may gnaw at them and sap their passion, energy and drive. And eventually it will affect ownership of tasks. Remember there is value in each person and the project.
Ask For Input
Team leaders don’t know the answers to every question or the best methodology to use in order to make things happen. A leader’s job is to put the right people in the right positions to be successful. Team leaders need input from the team members on how and what will be needed to get the project done. Meetings are important for input, however to stay on track it’s best to stick to an agenda.
Hear what the team members have to say. Conflict is good. Different opinions reflect each team member’s perspective. Be genuinely open and interested in all contributions. If they are worthy of being on the team, they are worth listening to. Don’t let your own voice drown out the sound of everyone else’s. It is not important for the leader to have the last word. Allow them to be equal stakeholders in the result. If possible, incorporate the team’s ideas into the goals and plans you set for the future. Remember to always give credit to the people that shared their ideas.
Leaders can contribute a great deal to help their team’s success. Be their advocate and allow their talents and individuality to shine while guiding them to stay within the perimeters. Be supportive rather than judgmental. If you don’t like the way it is going you can offer solutions, workarounds and suggestions to redirect team members to make the situation better. You can do all of this without killing their passion and enthusiasm for the project.
Remember, when faced with challenging team dynamics, an outside perspective can change things around dramatically. How can I help you today?
Call 773-294-0749 and let’s talk.